Editor apologises after Dasha Zhukova 'black woman mannequin' chair sparks racism row

Ms Zhukova was pictured sat on the mannequin of a half-naked black woman for a photoshoot with Buro 24/7

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The Independent Online

An image of Dasha Zhukova, the partner of Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, sitting on a chair made from the mannequin of a black woman has sparked a racism row after it was published online.

The editor of the magazine interviewing Ms Zhukova, Miroslava Duma, has since issued an apology on Instagram after the photo sparked an angry backlash.

Pictures emerged yesterday of Ms Zhukova posing on a chair made from a half-naked mannequin of a black woman with its legs in the air. The photoshoot was for an interview with fashion website Buro 24/7 about her new magazine Garage, where she is editor-in-chief.

The chair, which has a cushion on the back of the mannequin's thighs, is similar to the fibreglass piece "Chair" produced by pop artist Allen Jones.

Shortly after it was posted, Buro 24/7 removed the image and replaced it with a cropped version where only the legs were visible, The Evening Standard has reported, after some accused the magazine of being racist in online posts.

It also removed the picture from its Instagram account following multiple complaints.

"We are against racism or gender inequality or anything that infringes upon anyone's rights", Ms Duma's apology said.

"We love, respect and look up to people regardless of their race, gender or social status."

The chair was designed by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard and “reinterprets art historical works from artist Allen Jones as a commentary on gender and racial politics”, a spokesperson for Ms Zhukova said.

Ms Zhukova told the paper: “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics.

“I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.”

Ms Zhukova had also posted the image on her own Instagram account, where it was met with a barrage of criticism. She too has removed the picture.

Twitter users condemned the use of the chair in the photoshoot as “racist”, “disturbing” and “revolting”, with many criticising pictures of the shoot being posted on Martin Luther King Day.