The Parthenon remains one of the ancient world's most recognizable structures, and a modern artist decided to bring the structure into the 21st century with a banned book replica of the Parthenon. South American artist Marta Minujín created the Parthenon of banned books as part of the 2017 "Documenta 14," an art series held every five years in Kassel, Germany.
Made out of 170 different banned titles, the German Parthenon took an entire year of preparation, with Minujín and her students gathering a total of 100,000 different books. Wrapped in plastic coating, the titles faced outwards towards visitors, who could walk freely around the structure. The Parthenon of Books stood as the centerpiece of Documenta 14, and it sought to encourage debate about censorship. The banned book Parthenon itself stands within Friedrichsplatz Park, where the Nazis burned over 2,000 books in 1933.
Among those 170 banned titles, Mein Kampf remains absent, as Minujín felt the title too sensitive to include. If you strolled through the titles, you would find works ranging from Mark Twain to Gossip Girl, revealing that censorship remains a topic worth exploring today. If anything, the Parthenon of books highlights how suppressing a subject only makes it that much more well-known. And when put together, all that information is large enough to literally form the foundation of an entire center for learning. Banned books only serve as building blocks.