An Artist’s Memorial on the Site of Last Year’s Devastating Blast in Beirut Has Been Met With Sharp Criticism

Sarah Cascone , ARTNET NEWS

Aug. 3, 2021

Nadim Karam's 'The Gesture' marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly explosion.

A year after the deadly explosion in Beirut that shattered the city, a new sculpture commemorating the victims of the tragedy has gone up. It’s a work meant to heal—but in the charged atmosphere of crisis-wracked Lebanon, the memorial is also being met by a wave of fierce criticism.

The towering sculpture, by Lebanese artist Nadim Karam, was unveiled on August 2 at the site of the explosion. Standing 82 feet tall and weighing in at 35 tons, The Gesture (2021) is made of steel salvaged from Beirut’s port after the blast.

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