Israel Police said Monday they have opened an investigation into controversial performance artist Ariel Bronz in wake of complaints that he inserted an Israeli flag into his bottom as he performed at a cultural conference hosted in Tel Aviv on Sunday by Haaretz newspaper.
“Following the exceptional event that occurred yesterday at the Haaretz culture conference that was held in Tel Aviv and during which unbecoming things were done with a symbol of the state, and following complaints that were filed about the matter, the Israel Police has opened an investigation,” the police said in a statement.
According to the Haaretz newspaper, which hosted the conference at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Bronz was summoned for questioning Monday.
At least one of the complaints was apparently filed by the Culture and Sport Ministry at the behest of Minister Miri Regev, who had given a speech at the conference shortly before Bronz put on his show. After learning of the incident Regev said she would investigate the possibility of prosecuting Bronz.
During his performance, Bronz had pelted audience members with oranges as part of his act.
After some spectators booed and threw the oranges back at Bronz, who was clad in high heels and a short pink skirt, organizers requested that he leave the stage.
At that point, Bronz turned his back to the audience and proceeded to insert a small flag on a stick into his rear.
Ushers rushed to remove him from the stage as he strutted about with the flag still embedded.
It is unclear if the flag Bronz used was an Israeli one, as reported by some news outlets, or a simple white flag, as reported by others.
Defacing the national flag or other symbol of the state is illegal. Police are currently investigating another artist for videos in which she defecates on an Israeli flag.