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Latest update : 2016-11-25

Jeff Koons 'wants to give hope' to Paris attacks survivors

American artist Jeff Koons granted an exclusive interview to FRANCE 24 as he announced he will donate a sculpture to Paris to honour the victims of terror attacks. The world’s most expensive living artist says he will gift a "Bouquet of Tulips" sculpture to the French capital as an offering of remembrance for the victims of the November 2015 jihadist attacks.

Jeff Koons is donating a monumental sculpture named "Bouquet of Tulips" to the city of Paris and the people of France. The artist designed the installation at the behest of the US ambassador following the terror attacks of 2015. Known for sublimating everyday objects and subverting mass-produced trinkets, Koons has long divided critics. Some say this contemporary pop artist has outstayed his 15 minutes of fame, while others applaud his bombastic interpretation of our consumer society.

Jeff Koons's "Bouquet of Tulips" sculpture aims to “show an offering of remembrance to the victims of the terrible tragedies that have happened in France over the last two years”, he told FRANCE 24, adding that at the same time he wants “to give hope to the surviving family members” and help Paris overcome the tragedy.

In a string of coordinated attacks by Islamic State group jihadists that shocked the world, 130 people were killed on November 13 last year.

The monumental work, which has yet to be built, will be 10 metres (34 feet) high, and be made of bronze, stainless steel and aluminium. It will represent a huge hand holding out a multicoloured bouquet of tulips, the contemporary artist said. Koons, who is known for toying with objects from popular culture, said the hand holding the tulips in his massive sculpture is intended to mimic the State of Liberty grasping its torch.

Once it is completed in 2017, it will be set up in front of the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art and the Palais de Tokyo building.

By Olivia SALAZAR WINSPEAR

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