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Artists remove work from Manchester venue HOME after Palestinian event cancelled

Artists have removed their work from an exhibition at a Manchester venue after it cancelled a Palestinian event last week. Around 70 pieces of art were removed from the Manchester Open exhibition at HOME in protest of the arts venue 'silencing Palestinian voices'.

The Voices of Resilience show, which was billed as an evening of poetry and writing by Palestinians in Manchester and Gaza, was due to take place at the city centre venue on April 22. But the show was cancelled by organisers due to 'recent publicity around' the event.

In a statement last week, HOME said it is a 'politically neutral space' and that the safety of staff, audiences and artists was 'paramount' The decision followed an open letter from the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester raising concerns.

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Last night (April 3), around 100 artists and their supporters took down around 70 of the 500 artworks with more set to be removed in the coming days. The exhibition, which takes place every two years, opened in February and is scheduled to run until the end of April.

In place of the absent artworks, copies of a statement signed by over 150 artists were put up, calling for an apology from HOME and the reinstatement of the Voices of Resilience event, among other demands such as facilitating a forum for 'Palestinians and their allies' to air concerns. Hundreds of artists, including actress Maxine Peake and director Kapadia, a patron of HOME, have also signed an open letter stating that the venue has 'contributed to the silencing of Palestinian voices at a time when they most need to be heard'.

Sophia Gardiner, the artist behind 'Women of Discord', said she was proud