JERUSALEM – An Israeli sculptor installed on Thursday a life-size statue of Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev looking into a mirror in an apparent protest over a bill she presented that would allow the government to withdraw public funds from cultural organizations.
Italy Zalait’s artwork, depicting Regev wearing a white dress, looking at herself in a huge mirror near a plaque in Hebrew and English reading “#InTheHeartOfTheNation,” was installed near the Habima Theatre located in central Tel Aviv.
Zalait told local media he had the right to freedom of speech in a public square.
“Thank you Italy Zalait, who has placed a mirror in the heart of the nation on Habima Square,” Regev posted to her official Twitter account.
“In the past three years, I have indeed put a great effort in creating a mirror in the face of the Israeli cultural world. A mirror that exposed the exclusion of entire groups and the ‘patronage’ of those who had thought themselves as the heart of the nation,” she added.
Regev, a member of the right wing Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pushed for a controversial bill that would give the government the authority to halt funds for public to cultural organizations it considered worked “against the State principles.”
The bill, which passed the first reading on Monday, prompted criticism by public figures.