The column published on February 23 by the review Art Press, in support of Claude Lévêque makes a lot of noise. Signed by sixty-six personalities from the art world, it pleads the ” presumption of innocence “ in defense of the artist accused of rape and sexual assault on minors under 15 by sculptor Laurent Faulon, for facts dating back to the 1980s. The complaint filed by the latter two years ago, revealed by The world January 11? The testimonies of two other alleged victims, collected by Mediapart ? Be careful with “Rumors, fake news, baseless accusations, lies”, proclaims this short text.
While Claude Lévêque has, according to his lawyer, Emmanuel Pierrat, still not been heard by the investigators, the signatories say they fear a new case of Baudis, the former mayor of Toulouse wrongly accused, in 2003, of pimping and murders . At their head, Catherine Millet, historical director ofArt Press. Lawyer for sexual freedom, instigator, in 2018, of a forum in defense “The freedom to annoy” opposing the revelations of the #metoo wave, she is cited by the writer Gabriel Matzneff, in his latest book, as one of his “Five unwavering supporters”.
And who, among the fifty-three men and thirteen women who answered the call? Some loyal critics, such as Philippe Piguet or Michel Nuridsany; several of its publishers; a handful of collectors; rare museum curators and exhibition curators; but also about twenty artists, one of whom claims on social networks the benefits of sodomy on a 10-year-old child, and some figures such as Alain Fleischer, Ange Leccia or Jean-Luc Moulène.
More surprisingly, there are also the fathers of possible victims, some of whom were cited in Laurent Faulon’s complaint, and teachers. “Artists are not immune from the law, but neither are they doomed to be destroyed without proven evidence”, they defend, in reference to the cities and museums which have extinguished the luminous works of Claude Lévêque or have withdrawn them from their rooms.
It is “Howl at censorship when you have a beam in your eye”, reacts art critic Elisabeth Lebovici on Twitter. The swan song of a rear guard, indignant many others, “Smoke screen of all who sit on the glass ceiling”, sums up feminist photographer Marie Docher. As for the victims? Not a word refers to it.
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