American artist’s tribute to terror victims finally unveiled in Paris

American artist's tribute to terror victims finally unveiled in Paris
The work has been mired in controversy for some years. Photo: AFP
A controversial work by American pop artist Jeff Koons, aiming to symbolise US solidarity with France in the wake of the 2015 jihadist attacks, was unveiled in Paris on Friday after becoming mired in years of controversy.

Onlookers cheered and applauded as a white sheet covering was lifted to reveal Koons' massive Bouquet of Tulips – a sculpture of a human hand grasping a multicoloured bunch of flowers.

Koons created the monumental work after being asked to come up with something to represent America's solidarity with France after the 2015 Paris attacks carried out by Islamic State jihadists, which left 130 people dead.

Workmen installing the new sculpture near the Eiffel Tower. Photo: AFP

But the proposed site for the 12-metre work – outside the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum, on an esplanade facing the Eiffel Tower – quickly ran into resistance.

A site was finally chosen in a green space near the Petit Palais museum in the city centre that is partly obscured from view by trees, ending a four-year row over its location.

Koons, seen as the king of kitsch contemporary art, told Le Figaro this week he was “saddened” by the row, which he claimed was triggered by “a lot of misunderstandings and misinformation”.

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