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  Shvat 5, 5764 , 28/01/04

Tumarkin to Be Awarded Israel Prize

(IsraelNN.com) It was announced yesterday that Yigal Tumarkin will be the recipient of the 2004 Israel Prize for sculpture. He was recognized for a long career and a "diverse artistic vocabulary", and his work was called "a central contribution to Israeli art," by the Prize committee.

Tumarkin's nomination, however, has stirred controversy, with many pointing out that his public statements - artistic and otherwise - should disqualify him for any state prize.

In one famous example, in 1998, Tumarkin commented, "When I see the haredim [religious Jews], I understand why there was a Holocaust." And one of his works included a pig wearing tefilin (prayer phylacteries). (A depiction of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, as a pig, earned artist Tatiana Susskin a two-year prison sentence in 1998.)

The German-born Tumarkin, 70, was born to a Jewish mother and Christian father. While Tumarkin and his mother fled Nazi Germany in the pre-State years, Tumarkin's father eventually became a culture officer in the Nazi SS during World War II.
Other archived news briefs:Jan 28 2004, 01:15 PM, 1/28/2004