British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor has covered anti-Semitic graffiti on a controversial sculpture that was vandalised in France with gold leaf – but only just.
Dabs of white paint could still be seen on Wednesday (local time) at the edges of the gold leaf placed on the massive, funnel-like sculpture at the Palace of Versailles, which has been dubbed the "queen's vagina" for its sexual overtones.
In an interview with the artnet website, Kapoor said the choice to leave bits of the graffiti visible was deliberate.
"I have to transform it. Unravelling, finding an answer to a crime of hate and turn it into something else."
The 60-metre long, 10-metre high structure, officially called Dirty Corner, was first vandalised in June and then cleaned.
Then two weeks ago it was covered in white paint with phrases such as "SS blood sacrifice" and "the second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism".
Kapoor, 61, wanted the graffiti to remain to bear witness to hatred, and France's culture ministry said it was his choice.
However, a local government official, who saw the phrases as a "grave violation of fundamental rights", objected and a judge ruled on Saturday that the graffiti must be removed.
The scrawlings were covered with black cloth and a team from Kapoor's art studio has laid gold leaf on the rocks around the sculpture, which were also defaced.
They said the operation would be completed on Wednesday.
Kapoor told artnews, in an interview in Moscow, that he was appealing the court's decision.
"Culture is a victim of vandalism and hate," Kapoor said.
"If vandalism and hate stops public experimentation, we all lose. If we stop that, we might as well live in a fascist state."