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Aristotle’s Lyceum, one of the sites for the Greek portion of Documenta 14. Photo: Mathias Völzke.

Documenta Sued by Germany’s Right-Wing AfD Party

In the aftermath surrounding the financial problems of Documenta 14, allegedly brought on by administrative oversights, members of Germany’s right-wing AfD party who occupy a section of the city council of Kassel (the area where the event takes place) are now suing the exhibition’s organizers—the artistic director Adam Szymczyk; CEO Annette Kulenkampff; former mayor and board chair Bertram Hilgen; and current board chair and mayor Christian Geselle—for the purported “misappropriation of funds and other offenses,” according to Henri Neuendorf of Artnet. The suit was filed on October 18, even though the independent audit of the exhibition, run by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, hasn’t yet concluded (the full report is expected to be published sometime next month).

“Dubious cash transactions, a huge deficit of at least $8.3 million, disproportionate demands of the artistic director, a sloppy board, as well as inadequate separation of the two venues of Kassel and Athens all require an independent investigation by the state prosecutor,” said Michael Werl, the AfD’s minority leader.

Documenta was rescued with emergency loan guarantees in September from the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse after going beyond its budget. In a press conference, the state shareholders’ representatives said that they’re not sure where the money went. The issues surrounding Documenta have caused considerable strife regarding the show’s politicization and the role of art in politics.

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