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An art exhibition produced by Guantanamo detainees has provoked such a stir that Pentagon has opted to prevent inmates from taking ir prisons and even threatening to incinerate works. For curator of Ode to Sea: Art from Guantanamo Bay (Ode to Sea: Art of Guantanamo Bay), Erin Thompson, new Pentagon policy is an "artistic censorship" more typical of authoritarian regimes than of democratic states like United States.
Inmates could keep ir canvases and pull m out of prison through ir lawyers, but rules have changed after this exhibition that premiered in October university specializing in criminal justice John Jay of New York. There you can see up to January 36 works of art, between paintings and sculptures, made by eight prisoners of Guantánamo Penitentiary, four of which were already released.
Most of oils have a common element, sea. In 2014, a hurricane threatened Cuba and prison workers lifted awnings for a few days that prevented prisoners from seeing Guantanamo Bay. "We feel some freedom as we look to sea", explains in catalogue of exhibition one of inmates, Mansoor Adayfi, author of one of marine landscapes of sample.
Relatives of victims of attack of Twin Towers showed ir rejection of exhibition and, after stir caused, Department of American Defense Limited use that prisoners can make of ir artistic creations.
In recent days, lawyers of inmates have been denied possibility of imprisoning paintings of ir clients, who have been warned that, if y are ever released, y will not be able to take ir pictures, as y will be incinerated.
Thompson, who is also a professor of criminal art, said that works do not represent any threat because creative process is subject to scrutiny. "They have very restricted what y can paint and what not." They draw under many standards and it is monitored that re is no message of violence in box, neir implicit, nor explicit, " Commissioner said.
The art expert believes that greatest incentive to get closer to seeing exhibition is that pictures are "pretty" and no one imagines that suspected terrorists locked in a high security prison paint "beaches, boats or flowers."
Thompson said that, however, paintings have a "sadness" pose and manage to "excite" visitors, and defended mselves from criticisms arguing that y come from people who have not seen exhibition.
The controversy has again put in media focus prison of Guantánamo, where remain 41 men accused of having terrorist ties, of which only ten have been condemned or have charges filed against him.
"The most common reaction of people who have heard about exhibition was: but is re still Guantánamo?" "Haven't y closed it yet?" said Commissioner, who has devasted that 10,000 visitors have seen works.
Thompson says or relatives of victims of terrorism have congratulated her and assured her that y are first to want a trial for prisoners who reside in penitentiary as soon as possible. People interested in buying a painting or a sculpture, can do so, as long as prisoner has been released.
For some Guantanamo inmates, art is only escape y have and keeps m sane, according to Thompson. Therefore, "if we want m to be in ir right mind so that y can serve ir sentences, y cannot be deprived of art," he added.