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Swedish uni in ‘Dirty Dancing’ quote furore

The rector of Karlstad University in central Sweden has been forced to defend the decision to adorn a new library building with a well known quote from the 1980s movie "Dirty Dancing".

Swedish uni in 'Dirty Dancing' quote furore

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner” is the quote etched into the front of the new library at the Swedish seat of learning, a line made famous by Patrick Swayze in the surprise smash hit from 1987.

The choice of the artwork, instead of one featuring a message more closely associated to academia, has however been met with dismay from some quarters.

A Facebook thread dedicated to the white neon artwork has been filled with scathing comments of the message and the money spent on it, according to the local Nya Wermlands Tidning (NWT).

“This is the most stupid thing I have seen in ages,” wrote one angry poster.

But University rector Åsa Bergenheim has defended the artwork, which cost the university 170,000 kronor ($25,500).

“There are always critical voices when it the university is concerned. Words are obviously very controversial as art,” she told NWT.

Bergenheim underlined that the piece was funded by a donation and and that she felt the message suited the university perfectly.

“It means that we straighten our backs and give our best – because we are capable,” she said, adding that it is a universal message that could apply to the whole of Sweden.

While the immortal cinematic words are already in place on the façade of the new library, the artwork will be formally inaugurated on August 29th.

The piece has been created by Moa and Mikael Krestesen from Umeå in northern Sweden and according to the artists the intention is, among other things, to encourage young girls and women to take space.

TT/The Local/pvs

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Stockholm’s giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints

A giant blue penis painted on a Stockholm apartment building is to be covered up after just one week, the company which owns the building has said.

Stockholm's giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints
The penis was painted in blue with a yellow background, perhaps reflecting Sweden's national colours. Photo: Photo: Hugo Röjgård/Graffitifrämjandet
Atrium Ljungberg said it had come to the decision after receiving a barrage of complaints about the five-story high depiction of a bulging erection.  
 
“Of course we care about artistic freedom, but at the same time we must respect the opinion of our closest neighbours,” Camilla Klint, the company's marketing head, said in a statement. 
 
“By letting it remain for a short period, we are offering anyone who's interested a chance to experience the work.” 
 
The company said that it had been given no prior warning that a giant penis was about to appear on one of its blocks. 
 
“On Wednesday morning, April 11th, we saw  Kollektivet Livet's new work for the first time, at exactly the same moment as all the other people who live on Kungsholmen did,” it said in its statement.  
 
Under their arrangement, the artist collective had total artistic freedom over the works it commissioned for the wall, at Kronobergsgatan 35 on the central Stockholm island of Kungsholmen.  
 
The decision will come as a disappointment to the artist Carolina Falkholt. Her first giant penis painting, which she plastered on a wall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in December, lasted only a few days. 
 
She said on Wednesday that she expected her native Swedes to be more receptive. 
 
Atrium Ljungberg did acknowledge that many appreciated the painting. 
 
“Some people are positive about the work and see it as playing an important part in the debate around sexuality, the body and gender,” the company wrote.
 
“Others, particularly neighbours, have received the work less well, and experience it as offensive.”
 
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