Artist Uses 100,000 Banned Books To Build A Full-Size Parthenon At Historic Nazi Book Burning Site

Argentinian artist Marta Minujín, 74, has created a monumental replica of the Greek Parthenon from 100,000 copies of banned books. According to the artist, it symbolizes the resistance to political repression.

The Parthenon of Books in Kassel, Germany is part of the Documenta 14 art festival. With the help of students from Kassel University, Minujín identified over 170 titles that were or are banned in different countries around the world, and constructed the full-size replica of the iconic temple from those books, plastic sheeting, and steel.

But probably what is Germany’s most controversial book – Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” – will not figure on the Parthenon. And for a good reason: the Nazis were notorious censors of books. In fact, Minujín’s work stands on a historic site where the Nazis burnt some 2,000 books in 1933 as part of a very broad campaign of censorship. “Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people,” Heinrich Heine said in the 19th century.


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