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Palestine group in Venice Biennale protest

London-based pressure group Architects and Planners for Justice and Palestine (APJP) has launched a petition against the Venice Architecture Biennale's sanctioning of the Israeli pavilion.

The group, which is run by Abe Hayeem and backed by the likes of Charles Jencks and Ted Cullinan, is furious that the biennale bosses have agreed to host the exhibition on the 'Architecture of Commemoration'.

The group is particularly angry that this show fails to take into account the collective commemoration of the Palestinian people.

'We request that the biennale committee considers withdrawing the Israeli entry as being provocative and counterproductive to the aims of the biennale, and particularly distasteful in the aftermath of an ugly unnecessary war and wanton destruction of neighbouring Lebanon and a continuing one-sided war in Gaza,' the petition says.

'Whatever you do about the Israeli participation, we would like the organisers to consider asking for a Palestinian contribution, highlighting the historic and ongoing displacement of the Palestinian people,' it goes on.

This campaign has won the backing of several other groups, who have also written a letter.

These include the Society of Palestinian Engineers, the Palestinian Engineers Association and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

To see the petition, visit www.apjp.org.

by Ed Dorrell

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