Clothing label Lacoste sponsors the annual Elysée art prize, providing an award of £20,000 (just over $30,000) to the winning artist. Except not this year — they've pulled their sponsorship because of a row over a Palestinian artist's entry. The theme of this year's contest is "La Joie de Vivre," and after first shortlisting Larissa Sansour, Lacoste decided to remove her piece — a multimedia project Sansour describes as a vision of "a Palestinian state rising from the ashes of the peace process" — on the grounds that it didn't fit the theme. How awkward.
Rather than backing the award's sponsors, the Museum Elysée has sided with Sansour. In a statement, the museum says they "reaffirm our support to Larissa Sansour for the artistic quality of her work and her dedication." (They've even extended an offer to have her show pieces there.) Sansour spoke with British newspaper The Guardian herself, thanking the museum and arguing her dismissal was both unexpected and unwarranted:
"Lacoste's statement released later claiming I was dismissed for not complying with the theme, La Joie de Vivre, is simply not true... nobody at any point prior to yesterday raised concerns that my work did not fit the theme. In their initial mail confirming my nomination, the museum specified that each artist had complete freedom to interpret the theme."
Controversy has grown over Lacoste's motives, with Twitter users running a campaign to have the company boycotted for its decision. Lacoste has since released a statement of their own, denying the politically charged accusations. "We regret the political interpretation that has arisen from our decision ... Lacoste's reputation is at stake for false reasons and wrongful allegations. Never was Lacoste's intention to exclude any work on political grounds."
Most Viewed Stories
Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
It’s Finally Possible to Understand What Happened to Amanda Knox
Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
Finally Someone Called Donald Trump a Giant Baby and It Was Michelle Obama
The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in 2016
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Reportedly Broke Up
Ask a Boss: My Co-worker Wants Everyone to Call Her Boyfriend Her ‘Master’!
Ask Polly: Should I Try to Help My Alcoholic Friend?
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Outrageous Party Photos From Andy Warhol’s Factory Days
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.