Police drop probe into Holocaust artist

2012-12-11 21:16
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Stockholm - Swedish police said on Tuesday they have dropped an investigation into an artist who said he used paint mixed from the ashes of Holocaust victims in a watercolour, for lack of evidence.

"The enquiry was closed on Monday. The offence was committed abroad and we have no evidence here," police spokesperson Stefan Soederholm told AFP.

Swedish painter Carl Michael von Hausswolff has said that he travelled to Poland in 1989 for an exhibit and while there visited the Majdanek concentration camp.

The black-and-white work, featuring vertical brushstrokes in a rectangle representing the suffering of the victims, was displayed at a gallery in the southern Swedish town of Lund.

But the manager of the gallery, Martin Bryder, decided to pull the exhibition after the Jewish community in the area, and US-based Jewish rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, slammed the artwork.

"Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and harmony. So I decided to close the exhibition," he told daily newspaper Sydsvenskan.

A member of the public filed a police complaint against Von Hausswolff on 5 December for "disturbing the peace of the dead", a crime in Sweden punishable by up to two years in prison.

Swedish police said it had no information on whether an inquiry would be launched in Poland.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Majdanek camp museum, Agnieszka Kowalczyk, told Swedish daily Aftonbladet that collecting the ashes amounted to theft, and that the museum would ensure "the judicial authorities find out how this actually happened".

Read more on:    sweden  |  holocaust
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