On Tuesday, the collective Richtung 22 announced the meaning of its protest on Place de l'Etoile on Monday, which was to pressure the government to pull out of participating in the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
Commuters and motorists passing through Place de l'Etoile on Monday likely noticed large cloth banners surrounding the square. On the banners were phrases including 'Gudden Appetit #Expo2020 Dubai' or 'Dessert: Eng blanchéiert Expo mat Région flambée' (Dessert: a blanched exhibition with a flambéd region'), using sarcastic culinary expressions related to the Dubai 2020 World Expo.
The instigators of the banners did not reveal themselves on Monday, but it was almost certain that the young artist collective Richtung 22 was behind the protest, having previously written critical messages in chalk on the forecourt in front of the Philharmonie. This 2015 act even saw some of the collective's members end up in court, although they were ultimately acquitted.
On Tuesday, the collective announced it was behind the banners, highlighting the move was to raise awareness of the ways in which the United Arab Emirates continue to promote themselves with a 'wholesomeness menu' in the form of hosting the upcoming World Expo. The collective pointed to the less desirable reputation of the UAE, namely its extremely aggressive foreign policy and lack of respect for human rights.
On their Facebook page, the collective wrote that Luxembourg is complicit in supporting the UAE's aggressive policies and human rights abuses, purely by virtue of participating in the World Expo and supporting the UAE's self-promotion.
The message ended with an appeal to the Ministry of Culture, the 'Kulturfong' (National Culture Fund), and Luxembourg in general to withdraw its Expo 2020 project ad consequently prevent the 'abusive use of art as a marketing and cover-up tool'.