Statue of Minister Regev erected at Habima Square in Tel Aviv
Artist Itay Zelit is behind sculpture of Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev resembling Snow White; the sculpture was placed in front of a mirror with a sign reading: 'At the heart of the nation'; in response, Regev tweets, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, what are the ugliest injustices of them all?'
A statue of Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev resembling Snow White was placed at Habima Square in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning.
The statue depicts Regev dressed in a white dress, standing in front of a large mirror next to a sign reading "At the Heart of the Nation."
The man responsible for the creation, artist Itay Zelit, was also behind the golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was put up at Rabin square in Tel Aviv in 2016 and taken down several hours later.
After Netanyahu's statue was knocked down, Zelit said, "Not everyone understood the message I was trying to convey thorough my creation. I don't know who toppled it, but I acted in the name of art and didn't plan for it to end like this."
In reference to Regev's statue, the artist explained that "If one can do, one does. I let people think about the meaning of my work. Some people get angry, some identify with it. My work is displayed in a public area and everyone has the right to an opinion. "
When asked whether Regev's sculpture is a protest against the loyalty in culture bill the minister is promoting in the Knesset, Zelit replied, "The statue looks like Miri Regev, and also resembles Snow White. The mirror placed in front of it reflects reality, and it does not lie."
"Everyone can see it as they want. The public space is our place to create," he added.
The loyalty in culture bill seeks to change the way the Culture and Sports Ministry supports cultural institutions and deny state funding to those who attack or disgrace the state flag or state symbols; incite to racism, violence or terrorism; mark Independence Day as a day of mourning; or deny Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state.
Regev tweeted in response, "Thank you Itay Zelit for putting a mirror 'at the heart of the nation' at Habima Square. Over the past three years, I acted to put a mirror to the Israeli culture; a mirror exposing the exclusion of entire sectors and the 'patronage' of those considering themselves as being 'at the heart of the nation.'
"The nation is my mirror. The principles of cultural justice are what I see before me, and as the old saying goes: 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, what are the ugliest injustices of them all?'"
The Tel Aviv municipality said it "supports the freedom of speech and art. However, the municipality abides by the law, and since the sculpture was placed without a permit, a notice for its immediate removal was issued, as is done with every object placed in public spaces without authorization, and in accordance with the law. "