Descendant of Louis XIV loses lawsuit waged in effort to stop ‘pornographic’ Jeff Koons Versailles exhibition

January 4th, 2009


‘Rabbit’ by Jeff Koo ns, as displayed at Versailles via Bloomberg

Jeff Koons’s show at Versailles, previously covered here by ArtObserved, was mired in controversy right up to its very end.  Prince Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon-Parme, a descendant of the Louis XIV, the Sun King who built the Versailles palace where the exhibition took place, filed a lawsuit in the administrative court of that town to bring the show to a halt based on the “right to live without the profanation of one’s ancestors” and the “right to access knowledge of heritage without pornographic constraints.” Prince Charles-Emmanuel considered the show “pornographic” and “a desecration and an attack on the respect due to the dead,” and vowed to take the lawsuit to the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court for state affairs, after it was dismissed by the judge in Versailles.

Jeff Koons Versailles was the first Koons retrospective in Europe, and is considered responsible for a 15% increase in visitors to the Versailles palace since it opened in September. The exhibition closed on January 4th, 2009.

Descendant of Louis XIV tries to ban exhibition [Guardian]
Royal Heir Angered by Koons at Versailles [New York Times]
Sun King descendant loses case against Koons exhibition at Versailles [ArtForum]

Previously on ArtObserved:
GO SEE: JEFF KOONS’S CONTROVERSIAL INSTALLATION AT VERSAILLES, FRANCE, THROUGH DECEMBER 14 [September 12th, 2008]
JEFF KOONS SETS UP AT THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES, FRANCE IN SEPTEMBER [August 8th, 2008]

more images after the jump…

Rabbit by Jeff Koons, displayed at Versailles
‘Rabbit’
by Jeff Koons, as displayed at Versailles via Art Daily

Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1998) by Jeff Koons, at Versailles
Michael Jackson and Bubbles‘ (1998) by Jeff Koons, as displayed at Versailles, via New York Times

Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons, at Versailles
‘Balloon Dog’
(1999-2000) by Jeff Koons, as displayed at Versailles, via New York Times

Lobster by Jeff Koons, at Versailles
‘Lobster‘ by Jeff Koons, as displayed at Versailles, via New York Times