Illegal tattoos all the rage among Danes

The Local Denmark
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Illegal tattoos all the rage among Danes
Pernille Ferdinandsen is tattooed on the neck at the 2013 Copenhagen Ink Festival. Photo: Lars Krabbe/Polfoto

A 50-year-old law forbids the tattooing of the head, neck and hands but tattoo artists say that the law should be updated to account for modern trends.


More and more Danes are getting tattoos on their faces, necks and hands according to regional broadcaster DR Syd. 
Questionable aesthetics aside, there is just one problem with this growing trend: the tattoos are illegal.
A law dating back to 1966 forbids tattoos on the head, neck and hands. By and large, the law is doing little to hinder the demand for the very visible tattoos. 
DR Syd spoke to 15 tattoo artists in southern Jutland and seven of them reported that customers contact them every single week for an illegal tattoo. Two of them said the requests come in daily.
And it’s far from just a Jutland phenomenon. Lars Kristensen, the chairman of the tattooists’ association Dansk Tatovør Laug, has a lot of customers coming into his tattoo parlour in the Zealand town of Sorø looking to get some forbidden ink and says that his colleagues throughout Denmark report the same.
Kristensen said he turns customers away if he doesn’t know them, but if it is a someone he has worked on before wants an illegal tattoo, he is willing to oblige. 
“Yeah, I break a law from 1966 that is hopelessly outdated and that tries to take a stance on how people should look,” he told DR. 
He said that if the law isn’t changed, people will just get the tattoos from less qualified, and safe, artists.
“It’s better that it is us professionals that do the tattoos, and not Ronni who does it out of his garage with some needles he bought in China,” he said. 
Politicians from the governing Social Democrats, opposition party Venstre and left-wing party Socialist People’s Party have all said they would support a change in the law. 


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