No chance of this one not being controversial: A statue of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees has been installed in the former Warsaw Ghetto, reports the AP. Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan's work can only be viewed from afar, by peering through a hole in a wooden gate. What, exactly, Hitler—visible only from the back and appearing as a child—is praying for isn't made clear, but what is clear is that many aren't pleased. The Simon Wiesenthal Center this week called displaying the statue in a place where the Nazis forced many Jews to live in cramped, inhuman conditions before being sent to death camps "a senseless provocation. ... As far as the Jews were concerned, Hitler's only 'prayer' was that they be wiped off the face of the earth."
But the director of the art center behind the installation counters that the intention was not to insult, but to try "to speak about the situation of hidden evil everywhere." And he has Poland's head rabbi on his side. Michael Schudrich was consulted about the statue and says he didn't oppose it because he saw value in the moral questions it raises. Evil can present itself in the guise of a "sweet praying child," he says, and the statue can "force us to face the evil of the world."