Culture

Police guard threatened Swedish artist

An expensive army of Swedish police including helicopter surveillance had to surround controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks as he completed  his interrupted lecture on the history of provocative culture at Uppsala University north of Stockholm.

An earlier attempt to speak there was broken up by angry members of the audience attacking the artist defended by tear-gas spraying police.

The artist has attracted international attention, outcries and death threats after making drawings of the prophet Mohammed as a dog.  He has just returned to Sweden after a troubled and much-reduced speaking tour in Boston and in Toronto.  

A number of the planned lectures elsewhere in North America were cancelled since the organizers couldn’t afford the costs for large-scale police protection.  Nevertheless, the Swede says he is satisfied anyway since he was interviewed by major television, radio and newspapers.

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