ANC march to gallery is on
TODAY'S march to Goodman Gallery in Rosebank will go ahead even though its owner has expressed regret on the harm caused by the controversial The Spear painting.
Owner of the Goodman Gallery, Liza Esser, yesterday met with Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile to discuss, among other things, Brett Murray's controversial painting.
The ANC, which will march to the gallery today, said the march would proceed although its owner expressed regret on division caused by the painting.
"We believe that we can find a solution to the matter facing us. There is no way we can call the march off this evening. In that march we might highlight some things which could be of interest to South Africa. It might be a positive march, a march that can build us as a country and a people," said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.
He said the party was pleased that Esser has finally understood the hurt caused by the painting.
"We were just speaking to her now (yesterday). We are saying there is nothing wrong with us finding a solution to this pain and hurt. She is open to that.
"We are not going there to fight people. We are going there for all of us to say how do we as South Africans put a closure ... but also understand this hurt. We are happy that at least the lady understands this hurt."
Esser conceded that she never thought that the artwork would cause such controversy and drama in the country. "Certainly, it was never my intention to hurt anyone by displaying the artwork. I am very sad by the divisiveness that the exhibition has caused because art is meant to bring social cohesion and healing. To the extent that this exhibition has caused divisiveness, I am deeply saddened by that."
On the march today, Esser said: "I hope that it will be a peaceful march ..."
Meanwhile, the City Press newspaper yesterday removed the painting from its website.