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Israel’s culture minister makes political statement through dress

Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev caused a stir when she attended last month’s Cannes Film Festival in a unique dress designed to symbolize the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem.

Bordering the full length white skirt of Regev’s film festival gown is a colorful representation of Jerusalem’s Old City. The depicted skyline includes portrayals of the Tower of David, the Western Wall and the golden Dome of the Rock.

“I am proud to celebrate this historic date through art and fashion, and I am happy that this work by Israeli designer Aviad Herman is so moving and honors the beautiful status of our eternal capital Jerusalem,” Regev said told reporters.

Some in Israel were not impressed: the liberal Israeli Haaretz newspaper described Regev’s move as an “aggressive, cynical and opportunistic act.”

A number of social media users also posted photoshopped versions of the dress by superimposing the security barrier and scenes of Gaza under fire in place of the original depiction of Jerusalem.

Although Regev’s action provoked anger in some circles, the Jewish Museum in Berlin requested permission to display her dress in an exhibition on Jerusalem that will be “dedicated to the holy city of Jews, Christians and Muslims.”

Berlin’s Jewish Museum wants to display the dress in an exhibition that “seeks to illustrate the history and complexity of [Jerusalem] and to present a wide range of emotions that this city raises.”

“The dress is not only unique, but is also a political statement,” the museum said.

The dress is set to be on display at the Jewish Museum in Berlin from December this year to April 2019.

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Karen Faulkner
Karen Faulkner recently completed a Master's degree in Human Rights and Transitional Justice at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She made Aliyah in 2006 and lives in Jerusalem.

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