Lacoste is a French fashion company that many recognize by their green crocodile logo. They also sponsor the Lacoste Elysée Prize – an art competition organized by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour was one of eight nominees who were shortlisted for the prize. However, Lacoste changed its mind about including Sansor’s work in the competition and asked the Museum to remove her as a nominee citing her work as “too pro-Palestinian”.
Sansour’s entry into the competition was entitled Nation Estate which feature images based on Palestine’s admission to UNESCO. In her entry, Sansour imagines the state contained in a single skyscraper, with each floor representing cities including Jerusalem, Ramallah, as well as Sansour’s native Bethlehem.
Within 48 hours of Sansour going public, the Musée de l’Elysée came out in her support announcing that it had decided to suspend its relationship with Lacoste as a sponsor of this prestigious prize for its insistence to exclude Sansour from the competition.
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- Lacoste: No Room for Palestinian Artist (jazarah.net)
- Censorship row cancels art prize (bbc.co.uk)
- Protests held at Lacoste stores across France against “racism” and censorship of Palestinian artist (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Lacoste accused of attempting to censor ‘too pro-Palestinian’ art (independent.co.uk)
- Don’t buy the racism of Lacoste (londonbds.org)