The Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture in Paris decided to suspend the presentation of a pro-Polisario book.
“We found a form of political exploitation of [what we think was] only a mere presentation of a document,” the center was quoted by HuffPost Maroc as saying.
The exhibition room has been closed to the public since Sunday morning, according to Maghreb Arab Press.
The center explained that the book “was not an exhibition” but a simple presentation of a book made by artists. The book was represented in a “room of the museum’s permanent collections.”
The suspension of the Pro-polisario book came after the president of the Moroccan National Museum Foundation, Mehdi Qotbi, denounced the move on November 2.
On October 31, Algerian news agency Algeria Press Service (APS) reported that “the Center Georges-Pompidou devotes a gallery to the struggle of the Saharawi people.”
Qotbi told TelQuel that he “did not see the exhibition, but I acted as a Moroccan citizen who loves his country and is convinced that the Sahara is Moroccan,” after he had read APS article.
“As soon as I learned the information, I immediately called the president of the Geroges-Pompidou Center Serge Lasvignes. He told me that he did not know and was going to take a closer look and get back to me as soon as possible,” Qotbi said.
On November 2, Qotbi send a letter to Lasvignes.
“Artistic and political stakeholders in Morocco are appalled by a center they held on high esteem. People don’t understand the real motivation of your institution to participate in the propaganda of a separatist movement notoriously financed by Algeria, Qotbi said in the letter.