Israeli minister threatens to defund art show over nudity

AP News
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 5:54 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's culture minister has threatened to pull funding for a major arts festival over performances with full frontal nudity, saying such displays harmed "Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."

Miri Regev told the Israel Festival in a letter that she will withdraw funding for the three-week event opening Thursday unless the two shows featuring nudity are canceled.

Festival director Eyal Sher says performances with nudity are an "integral part of the artistic programs" and will go ahead as planned. He noted they don't take place in public and that the audience can choose which shows to attend.

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Regev, a former military censor turned politician from the nationalist Likud Party, has had a series of clashes with Israel's liberal cultural establishment in her current post.