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    • This is Jeff Koons’ answer to a terrorist’s massacre. It is a rather controversial memorial. Koons’ wrote that it is meant to be “a symbol of remembrance, optimism and healing” following the Parisian terrorist attacks in November 2015 that killed 130 people. Its installation in Paris is scheduled to be completed sometime in October. I will be nearly 40 feet tall. The cost is around €3.5m.


      Bouquet of Tulips

    • One would think that killing 130 people by one group, would be considered an act of war, and not something to be celebrated/"remembered" with a few deflated plastic ballons.

      There must be something here I am not seeing or feeling. I am not an artist or art critic, so I recognize that I may not be seeing everything correctly - white male and all that too - but really.

      Ahhh, I see I am not the only one

      And this one which purports the white hand in the statue to be that of white power - Wow!!

      @lidja I am at a loss for words.

    • I'm baffled. No comments on the placement, but I don't see that sculpture as representing a bouquet of tulips - it looks like plastic colored marshmallows to me.

      This doesn't feel like a suiting remembrance of the Paris attacks.

      While I do like abstract art, this one just doesn't work for me.

    • I had the same feeling, Denise, it just felt kind of....wierd. And I found we are not the only ones, And one group took the white hand as a racist statement in and of itself.

      It looks like the balloon bubbles folks make hats out of, or wiener dogs, or something.

      It is very hard, for me at least, to think of that statue in the context of serious grief and loss, but maybe this was a genuine attempt to make folks feel better, but.............

    • I suppose if one is an atheist or if one doubts that God cares because he allows the wicked to manifest the extreme difference between darkness (evil) and light (godliness) that this kind of thing might seem more potent than prayer but for those of us that believe that God exists and that He desires that humans have the choice to be evil or good but that He is just and forgiving, and that in His own time He intervenes in the affairs of humans, prayer seems a lot more powerful than any symbolic gesture.

    • The simple quiet dignity offered by prayer for the victims and their families seems so much more moving to me, than that colorful statue of inflatable flowers. I do agree that quiet thoughtful prayer is a far better choice.

      Maybe a public alter offering privacy where people could go and pray for the victims and their famlies might be worthwhile. I would support that!

    • I'm not sure that many religious people would be able to agree on what would constitute and appropriate memorial if any type of obviously religious symbolism was used. You mentioned an altar, but a lot of religions don't use an altar. At some war memorials, there are some tasteful provisions for privacy which do not contain any form of religious motif, I think that many would find that more suitable as a place for offering prayer. IF a person is of a religion in which a shrine is essential to prayer then they probably also need a place which has been consecrated in accordance with their religious beliefs, therefore for them it would be better to locate a nearby place where they can comply with their beliefs than it would be to have a place which is syncretic in nature.

    • I think an unintended (?) consequence of such a memorial might be that tulips become the flower of mourning (much like roses have become the symbol of love).

      Interesting turn vis a vis symbolism...

    • You are correct, my choice of words was not well thought out, and is easily mis-construed.

      I stated "altar" without really thinking about the religious context and the significance to people of many differing faiths.

      I was just trying to suggest a relatively private place in the open air for contemplation, reflection, grieving, and prayer for those who choose to pray.

      Without making any judgements. But "judgements" are popular with many groups these days.

      Maybe that is why Jeff Koons chose brightly colored tulips after all...

    • you know, I respect that prayers mean a lot to many religious people, but I can also understand why they are just like thoughts to others, both religious and not. It’s a kind of faith without works feeling.

    • Someone once said, Responsibility is when Opportunity and Ability come together.

      If someone's needs exceed my entire gross worth (let alone net worth) I do not have the ability to do more than contribute a portion. I may be responsible for that portion, but that does not give me the right to take the property of a Rockefeller or a Bezos without their consent to help this other person. When my ability is completely exhausted I have no further responsibility.

      Also if I do not have the opportunity, I am not responsible. Now some people who are present at the time of a crisis may claim to not have the opportunity but I am referring to those situations in which for one reason or another the opportunity to help someone does not exist.

      When my wife was dying I lacked the ability to keep her alive. Nor was the hospital to which I took her able to keep her alive. They entubated her and put her in a helicopter but when she arrived at the hospital to which she was flown, she was no longer responsive.

      Neither I nor the local hospital had the ability. The hospital to which she was flown did not have the opportunity.

      God can do what man can not do.

      I'm not sure who you are thinking of when you suggest that somebody, somewhere offered prayers without doing anything, I'm sure that this sometimes occurs — BUT, we were talking about whether a memorial is more potent than prayer. Koons made a memorial then @lidja posted a message on Cake with the title Better than "thoughts and prayers?"

      I am aware that someone used that phrase this year or last but who it was and under what circumstances I don't remember —

      I was writing on the question of whether prayer is more potent than a memorial. I wrote about two kinds of people - those who are Atheists and those who believe that God is a caring God. I acknowledged that to an Atheist, prayers are empty and void; but I also pointed out that those of us who believe in a caring God believe that prayer is more potent than any symbolic gesture.

      How this leads to a discussion of those who will not help when they have both ability and opportunity, I do not know.