Apparently Maori are as special as Muhammad


The outrage started yesterday on Twitter and naturally it is now news, that some Maori are mortally offended by…shower curtains.

An American online store selling shower curtains depicting historic Māori is being called deplorable for the culturally inappropriate items.

Images of about 15 of Gottfried Lindauer portraits, including those of Māori leaders, are being sold as shower curtains for just under $100 by the Fine Art America website. Lindauer painted the detailed portraits of Māori in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Art historian Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, also a descendent of some of the Lindauer subjects, said Māori culture was being exploited, and it was appalling.

She said Māori images on teatowels and crockery were bad enough – but this was much worse.

“To actually see Wiremu Kingi as a shower person is absolutely extraordinary and profoundly hurtful. The arrogance of art producers in Western creators’ commerce never fails to amaze me.

“In traditional cultural terms, in the context of tikanga Māori of Māori values around the sanctity of the body and the intimacy of the bathroom, to have an ancestor as a shower curtain is profoundly insulting.”

The images include iwi leader Rewi Manga Maniapoto, and the Taranaki leader and chief of the Te Ati Awa Tribe, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake.

Oh piss off. How many Maori settlements or houses even had bathrooms back in the day? You are getting as bad as Islamists demanding no one can depict Muhammad.

A lawyer for three iwi in the Wai 262 Treaty claim over cultural and intellectual property rights, Maui Solomon, said the copyright for the Lindauer artworks had expired so there was nothing to stop the images being used in such an offensive way.

“This is why the original Wai 262 claimants to cultural and intellectual property rights claim brought to the Waitangi tribunal had asked for better recognition and protection of Māori cultural intellectual property,” he said.

“Because the intellectual property rights system doesn’t provide the sort of protection that would protect these images against culturally inappropriate misuse such as this one.”

Mr Solomon said that despite recommendations to set up a commission to help protect Māori cultural property the government had done nothing.

He said descendants of those depicted in the artwork should write to Fine Art America explaining that the images on the shower curtains are offensive and done without consultation with Māori.

Write as many letter as you like, you just sound like petulant whinging arseholes. There is no intellectual property issues here. Lindauer painted those and now he is dead and intellectual property rights expired years ago.

I think the shower curtains look awesome. This is all about trying to get some coin from someone else’s good idea. The sad thing is the arts community are a bunch of liberal elite luvvies so they will probably cave to the social justice warriors.


– RadioNZ


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