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Minister condemns suspected arson against Lars Vilks artwork

Updated fredag 25 november 2016 kl 11.55
Published fredag 25 november 2016 kl 10.41
Vilks: Not the first time the first the sculpture was hit by fire.
(1:08 min)
Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke decries the fire that struck Nimis.
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Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke decries the fire that struck Nimis. Credit: Björn Lindgren and Jonas Ekströmer / TT.
Swedish artist Lars Vilks, back turned, shows off Nimis in 2001. Credit: Stefan Lindblom / TT.
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Swedish artist Lars Vilks, back turned, shows off Nimis in 2001. Credit: Stefan Lindblom / TT.

After a fire destroyed late Thursday part of a seaside sculpture by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke called the suspected arson an attack on democracy.

Writing on her Instragram account, Bah Kuhnke said the "constant" attacks on art and artists are a "threat to freedom of expression and, ultimately, our entire democracy..."

The outdoor sculpture called Nimis, Latin for "too much", has partly burned down and police are investigating it as a possible arson. Vilks began building the wooden structure on Sweden's southwest coast back in 1980.

Vilks is best known for drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2007 that became the target of campaigns by some Islamic groups. He received death threats from extremists because of it and currently lives under police protection.

Speaking with news agency TT on Thursday Vilks said he considers the fire "a brutal form of art criticism" but he expects the installation to be restored.

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