By Lukas Mikelionis
Published February 28, 2019
A statue of Spain’s King Felipe VI is being sold for $230,000 with one condition – the buyer will have to burn it – igniting uproar among supporters of the monarchy.
The 14 feet-tall statue features the country’s king standing tall and wearing a dark blue suit, green tie and white shirt. It’s exhibited at Madrid's ARCO contemporary art fair.
But anyone interested in purchasing the statue will have to also legally commit to setting it ablaze, said Santiago Sierra and Luis Navarro, the artists behind the statue.
“The specificity of this sculpture is that it isn't conceived to endure in time, to be collected, but for the pleasure of being destroyed,” Navarro told AFP, noting that any buyer will have to “commit to the artwork being burnt.”
The artists sparked an uproar in Spain, particularly among the conservative press that harbors more sympathetic views towards the monarchy.
Some media outlets called the statue a “provocation” because the king himself will be opening the fair on Thursday, The Local reported.
Sierra has previously been embroiled in controversy for his political works, according to the outlet. Last year, the artist called jailed Catalan separatist leaders as “political prisoners” in an art installation, prompting the removal of the installation from the same fair.
The monarchy is a divisive issue in Spain, with more people began favoring the abolition of the institution.
A recent YouGov poll found that 48 percent of surveyed people were in favor of abolishing the monarchy, while just over a third came out in support of the institution, according to Euro Weekly News.
More than two-thirds of respondents also support a referendum to decide whether to make Spain a republic, with only 22 percent against such vote.
Yet while many people are skeptical of the monarchy, it remains a crime to insult the royals.