For generations, Italians tolerated the Sicilian Mafia as a fact of life, even as horrible crimes and murders were committed. But, in 1993, a car bomb went off next to Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, damaging and destroying some serious artwork. Suddenly, Italians thought that the Mafia had gone too far.
In the past few weeks, videos have been released showing ISIS (or ISOL, or the Islamic State) destroying sculptures in Middle Eastern museums. Now, authorities have arrested nine people in connection with a gun attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 22 people and two alleged attackers, a spokeswoman for the Tunisian presidential office told ABC News.
In New York overnight, extra police were assigned to the city’s most popular museums in a direct response to the attack at the museum in Tunisia.
Most people, artists and art lovers included, tend to think that art is removed from the realities of the political world. But it’s often the case that, when the real world disrupts art and culture, people finally pay attention. Maybe art really does have the power to disrupt the more awful realities of the world.