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University of Houston Cancels Opening Ceremony, Artist Talk for Controversial 'Abortion' Sculpture

The University of Houston (UH) canceled the February 28 opening event and accompanying talk by Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander for the exhibit of her sculpture “Witness” in the Public Art of the University of Houston System collection.

The cancellation came after the exhibit faced calls for protests and pressure from various pro-life groups, one of which called the sculpture a “satanic abortion idol.”

UH officials originally said that the event was canceled due to the unavailability of the artist. Sikander disagreed, however, writing in a statement on social media, “I did not ask for the opening event and artist talk at the University of Houston to be canceled or postponed.”

“After calls were made for campus protests, the university announced publicly that the artist talk/opening event was canceled. There had been an internal discussion that the event might be replaced by a virtual presentation, or alternatively be postponed, but nothing was ..."