Serralves Museum removes Mapplethorpe works – artistic director resigns

Protestors outside Serralves Museum following removal and censorship of works by Robert Mapplethorpe

The artistic director of Porto’s Serralves Museum João Ribas has resigned following the museum’s decision to remove 20 works from its current exhibition Robert Mapplethorpe: PicturesPúblico reports. The exhibition, which was commissioned and curated by Ribas and who took up the role of artistic director eight months ago, has also been censored, with age-restricted access to two rooms. The museum has insisted that ‘all’ of the 159 works selected by Ribas are on show, though there were originally 179 chosen. Serralves Museum further wrote in a statement: ‘Given the content of several of the works exhibited and Serralves being an institution visited annually by almost one million people of all origins, ages and nationalities, including thousands of children and hundreds of schools, the Foundation felt that the visiting public should be alerted to this effect, in accordance with the legislation in force’. An open letter addressed to the president of the Serralves Foundation Ana Pinho condemning the foundation’s decision to remove the works and restrict access has been signed by more than 150 international artists and arts professionals. 

24 September 2018