Underground Artist Puts Veils on Billboards in Paris Metro

by Jason Wire Nov 11, 2010

An artist known only as “Princess Hijab” has brought new literal meaning to the term “underground art,” painting black muslim-style veils over advertisements throughout the Paris Metro, reports the Guardian.

She strikes at night to lather black Muslim veils on half-naked airbrushed women – and men – of the metro’s fashion adverts. She calls it “hijabisation,” and has been exhibited from New York to Vienna, sparking debates about feminism and fundamentalism – yet her identity remains a mystery.

The Princess’s campaign comes six years after a law banning headscarves and all conspicuous religious symbols in state schools, and Nicolas Sarkozy’s government has banned the niqab from public spaces amid a fierce row over women’s rights, islamophobia and civil liberties. The “burqa ban”, approved last month, means that from next year it will be illegal for a woman to wear full-face Muslim veils in public, not just in government offices or on public transport, but in the streets, supermarkets and private businesses. The government says it is a way of protecting women’s rights and stopping them being forced by men to cover their faces.

Says the princess in an interview with The Guardian: “The veil has many hidden meanings, it can be as profane as it is sacred, consumerist and sanctimonious. From Arabic Gothicism to the condition of man. The interpretations are numerous and of course it carries great symbolism on race, sexuality and real and imagined geography.”

Regardless of any interpretation, it is meaningful cstreet art at its best. Read the full article here.

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