Adventure

There’s A Full-Scale Replica Of The Parthenon Made From Banned Books

Over 100,000 banned books will be included.

For centuries, books have provided a window into the thoughts and feelings of our civilisations. That said, if they reveal too many wanton truths or shine a light on something less-than-positive, those in power may take offence, or even censor history. So books are banned, and humanity suffers.

Artist Marta Minujín has taken this historic crisis of censorship and paired it with what is one our greatest feats of human construction and endurance: the Parthenon.

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As part of the documenta 14 Art Festival, Minujín has installed a giant replica of the Parthenon constructed from books that have been banned throughout history. The installation, titled The Parthenon of Books, will sit on Friedrichsplatz in the German city of Kassel, a site previously used for book burnings by the Nazis in the 1930s.

Some of the books include Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, George Orwell’s 1984 and Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer. Even the Bible is counted among the 100,000 books.

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A version of the installation —El Partenón de libros — was shown in Minujín’s country of Argentina in 1983 to commemorate the fall of the civilian-military dictatorship. This year, the Parthenon of Books is addressing censorship in our modern times. As the documenta 14 website states, it is “a symbol of opposition to the banning of writings and the persecution of their authors.”

The exhibition will be open until July 16 in Kassel, with a whole bunch of other impressive installations around the city to have a look at too. Find out more info here.

(All images: documenta 14)