Barcelona Museum Features Sculpture Of Former King Getting Sodomized

03/23/2015 02:21 pm ET | Updated Mar 23, 2015

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona opened a controversial exhibit this weekend including a sculpture depicting the former King Juan Carlos I getting sodomized.

ines doujak

The sculpture "Not Dressed For Conquest," by artist Ines Doujak, went on display on Saturday in Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art.

The museum canceled the exhibit hours before its originally planned inauguration last week, touching off a debate over freedom of speech. The museum’s director announced Friday, however, he had changed his mind, and the exhibit opened the following day.

The sculpture, created by Austrian artist Ines Doujak, depicts a German shepard dog sodomizing Bolivian union leader Domitila Barrios de Chúngara, who is in turn sodomizing former Spanish King Juan Carlos I, who is vomiting flowers onto a pile of Nazi helmets, according to the BBC.

The director of the MACBA, as the museum is known from its initials in Spanish, Bartomeu Marí decided last week to suspend the exhibition over the protests of the museum's curators. Marí called the sculpture "inappropriate," according to Spanish newspaper El Periódico.

In a public letter, Bartomeu Marí said he made the initial decision to “protect the MACBA as an institution,” but relented because of the “practical unanimity” of voices calling for the opening of the exhibit.

"I never thought what I was doing was censorship," Marí wrote in the letter. "I understood it as a disagreement with the presence of a specific work and the effects of its possible interpretations."

Marí apologized in the letter and asked the museum's board of directors to evaluate whether he should continue in his position.

The sculpture is part of a larger series titled “The Beast and the Sovereign,” in which some 31 international artists created works that question different forms of political control.

King Juan Carlos I abdicated the throne last year. He was succeeded by his son, who was crowned King Felipe VI.

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