The Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, one of the largest international contemporary art festivals held in Japan, has received 770 threatening emails since the event began on Aug 1.
Aichi prefectural police said about half of the emails which were directed at the Aichi Triennale Organizing Committee, contained threats ranging from “I’ll spray gasoline and ignite prefectural facilities and schools” to “I’m going to spray sarin and gasoline around the prefectural office.” In addition, one email targeted Aichi Triennale employees by threatening “to shoot and kill staff.”
Police said most of the threatening emails were sent between Aug 5 and 9 to the Aichi prefectural government and its secretarial department.
The festival has already attracted a lot of controversy after it removed the "After 'Freedom of Expression?'" exhibit which featured the "Statue of a Girl Of Peace,"symbolizing wartime “comfort women”— women who were forced into sexual servitude by Japan’s military before and during World War II.
That decision has become a heated topic as the Aichi Triennale prides itself as a cutting-edge international art festival that celebrates the values of freedom of expression.
A man was arrested on Aug 7 for sending a fax containing an arson threat against the museum over the “comfort woman” statue. The “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’” was removed on Aug 3.© Japan Today