Sweden: Art Exhibit Vandalized by Israeli Ambassador
- Sharon praises 'art vandal' envoy
Israeli-born artist Dror Feiler (r): Mazel "tried
to stop free speech"
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has praised his
ambassador to Sweden after he vandalised an art exhibit featuring a
Palestinian suicide bomber.
Ambassador Zvi Mazel was ejected from a Stockholm museum
after the incident.
Mr Mazel said the work, created by an Israeli-born
artist, was "a call for genocide".
Israel has called on the Swedish Government to dismantle
the exhibit, which has a boat floating in a pool of red liquid.
"I think the phenomenon [of anti-Semitism] is so serious
that it would have been forbidden not to have acted on the spot," Mr
But the expatriate Israeli artist, Dror Feiler, rejected
the criticism of his work, saying it had a message of openness and
"I'm absolutely opposed to suicide bombers," he added.
Mr Feiler called the envoy "an intellectual dwarf" who
had tried to "stop free speech and free artistic expression".
Sweden's foreign ministry has summoned Mr Mazel to give
an explanation for his actions on Monday.
Ambassador Mazel was expelled from Stockholm's Museum of
Antiquities on Friday after he threw a spotlight at the exhibit.
Called Snow White And The Madness Of Truth, the
installation features a photo of Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old
trainee lawyer who blew up herself and 19 Israelis in a Haifa
restaurant in October.
The work is accompanied by a piece of Bach music entitled
My Heart Is Swimming In Blood.
The installation was commissioned ahead of a conference
on genocide to be held later in January.
Mr Mazel was attending the opening of the
"I called our ambassador in Sweden Zvi Mazel last night
and thanked him for his strength in dealing with increasing anti-
Semitism, and told him that the entire government stands behind him,"
Mr Sharon told a cabinet meeting Sunday.
"I think Ambassador Mazel behaved in an appropriate way."
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman David Saranger had
urged the Swedish Government to "take steps to remove it".
The director of the museum, Kristian Berg, said the
installation would remain in place.
"You can have your own view of what this piece of art is
all about, but it is never, never allowed to use violence and it is
never allowed to try to silence the artist," he said.