Rendering of Jeff Koons's Bouquet of Tulips.

Producers of Jeff Koons’s Paris Memorial Defend Project in Open Letter

Jérôme and Emmanuelle de Noirmont, the production team behind Jeff Koons’s Bouquet of Tulips, which the artist wants to give to the city of Paris in honor of the 130 people murdered in a terrorist attack at the Bataclan theater on November 30, 2015, have issued an open letter in support of the artist’s project. A petition published in the French newspaper Libération on January 21 (signed by many French cultural notables, including artists Christian Boltanski, Jean-Luc Moulène, and filmmaker Olivier Assayas) urged the city to ditch Koons’s plan, calling the sculpture “cynical” and “opportunistic.”

The artist is not paying for the production of the work, which will cost $4.3 million (he donated only the idea for the sculpture—a fundraiser was launched to raise construction funds for Bouquet). But Koons did promise that all proceeds from the sale of postcards featuring the piece will be given to the families of the victims for the next twenty-five years. The Noirmonts claim that the artist is giving to the families of the Bataclan victims all the income from his copyrights on the work, an act they characterize as “a nice way for the artist to underline the generous essence of this gesture.” However, it is unclear if the postcard sales qualify as all such income.