Istanbul Modern Releases Official Statement on Claims of Censorship

A view of the Istanbul Modern (via

We were notified this morning via Twitter that the Istanbul Modern has released the following statement regarding the claims of censorship over a work by Bubi Hayon at their gala auction:

Istanbul Modern’s Announcement

Dedicated to supporting art and artists and to preserving and exhibiting works of art, we were surprised and disappointed by the discussion that emerged this year regarding the selection of artwork for Gala Modern, Istanbul Modern’s annual fundraising event.

Istanbul Modern is an institution for culture and the arts that relies primarily on the contributions of visitors and supporters and on events like Gala Modern to fund its activities. Worldwide, these kinds of events are organized by volunteers to raise funds for non-profit institutions and, like Gala Modern, they are closed to the general public. As explained carefully to the artists who created artwork specifically for Gala Modern and donated them to the event, the sole purpose of the evening and the art in question was to raise money for Istanbul Modern’s educational programs.

Bubi, too, received a detailed briefing about the character and importance of Gala Modern. He knew that Gala Modern was not an exhibition and that the primary purpose of the work he created was to raise funds for Istanbul Modern’s educational programs. In events of this kind, the curatorial team selects the artists that will participate and determines which works will be included. This is standard international practice.

Istanbul Modern has a strong record of opposing censorship and encouraging freedom of expression in art.

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