Saturday, January 17, 2004
ambassador kicked out of Swedish museum after
STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Israel's
ambassador to Sweden was kicked out of Stockholm's
Museum of National Antiquities after he destroyed
an artwork featuring a picture of a Palestinian
suicide bomber, the artists said.
The incident, widely reported in the Swedish
media, occurred at the opening on Friday
[January 16, 2004] of the "Making
Differences" exhibit, part of an upcoming
international conference on genocide hosted by the
Swedish government and in which Israel is scheduled
Sweden's foreign ministry said Saturday it would
summon ambassador Zvi Mazel to a meeting to
"We will contact him on Monday to arrange a
meeting. We want to give him a chance to explain
himself. We feel that it is unacceptable for him to
destroy art in this way," ministry spokeswoman
Anna Larsson told AFP.
The art installation, called Snow White
and located in the museum's courtyard, featured a
basin filled with red water, designed to look like
A sailboat with the name Snow White floated on
the water, and placed like a sail was a photo of a
smiling Hanadi Jaradat, the female lawyer
who blew herself up in the Haifa suicide bombing
attack in October which killed 21 Israelis.
"For me it was intolerable and an insult to the
families of the victims. As ambassador to Israel I
could not remain indifferent to such an obscene
misrepresentation of reality," the ambassador told
Swedish news agency TT.
According to museum
director Kristian Berg, the ambassador
went berserk in front of the 400
specially-invited guests when he saw the
"He pulled out the plugs and threw one of the
spotlights into the fountain which caused the
entire installation to short-circuit and made it
totally life-threatening," he told TT.
One of the two artists who created the work,
Israeli-born Dror Feiler, told AFP the
ambassador was "totally unreasonable and
undiplomatic" and would not listen to his
"He said he was ashamed that I was a Jew,"
Feiler said. "We see this as an offensive assault
on our right to express our thoughts and
The other artist, Feiler's Swedish wife
Gunilla Skoeld Feiler, told daily
Expressen that the work was "not a
glorification of the suicide bomber."
"I wanted to show how incomprehensible it is
that a mother-of-two, who is a lawyer no less, can
do such a thing," she said.
"When I saw her picture in the paper, I thought
she looked like Snow White, that's why I
gave that name to the piece," she added.
Dror Feiler was to perform a piece of music but
refused to do so as long as the ambassador remained
at the scene.
"Ultimately we had to escort the ambassador out
of the museum," museum director Berg said, adding
that he did not consider the artwork to be a
"It is rather an invitation to think about why
such things happen in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict," he said.
The museum's artistic director, Thomas
Nordanstad, said he had given the artists the
go-ahead to create the piece, and had "hoped it
would lead to an artistic dialogue".
The artwork was repaired and was on Saturday on
view to the public, despite Israel's insistence
that it be disassembled.
It was not immediately known whether the
incident would affect Israel's participation at the
"Stockholm International Forum -- Preventing
Genocide" conference, which is to take place
January 26-28 .