Ban on banana-eating artwork draws ridicule in Poland
Going ape

Ban on banana-eating artwork draws ridicule in Poland

Activists, opposition politicians post photos of themselves eating the fruit after a video featured at Warsaw museum was deemed obscene

Illustrative photo of a person peeling a banana. (iStock)
Illustrative photo of a person peeling a banana. (iStock)

Poland’s artists and opposition politicians are posting photos of themselves eating bananas in protest against the removal from a top national gallery of an art work featuring the fruit that the conservative authorities say is obscene.

The new head of the National Museum in Warsaw argues that the 1973 video by artist Natalia LL and showing a young woman eating a banana with great pleasure can be harmful to young people.

Its removal from the gallery came after director Jerzy Miziolek was summoned to the Ministry of Culture.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users are ridiculing the ban as narrow-minded and a case of censorship. They are posting photos of themselves enjoying bananas.

A collective banana-eating protest is planned Monday in front of the state-run museum.

This isn’t the first time banana-eating has been deemed indecent in recent times, and in Egypt it even landed a female pop singer in jail for two years.

Shaimaa Ahmed, better known by her stage name Shyma, was convicted in December 2017 of promoting debauchery with a racy video clip and ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 pounds (about $560).

Shyma appeared in the video in her underwear singing while suggestively eating an apple and a banana before a classroom of young men.

The video created a stir on social media in conservative and Muslim-majority Egypt and was discussed on TV talk shows.

Her arrest came amid a crackdown by authorities under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on some artists in Egypt using wide-ranging morality laws.

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