Some people clearly do not want controversial Swedish artist Dan Park’s works to be shown in Denmark.
Less than a week after his Copenhagen gallery was vandalised, Danish artist and gallerist Kristian von Hornsleth has dropped plans to display Park’s art after receiving death threats against himself and his family.
“I unfortunately need to withdraw from the Dan Park exhibition due to death threats that concern myself and my family,” von Hornsleth informed the Danish Free Press Society (Trykkefrihedsselskabet), which is the organizer of the exhibit.
“One thing is to have my gallery smashed up last week, but after receiving a series of direct death threats I must now admit that this is no longer about art but rather has become a serious political and societal issue. I am very shocked and find it deeply regrettable to have to cave in to threats of violence,” the artist continued.
Despite von Hornsleth’s withdrawal, the Danish Free Press Society is pressing on with its plans to display nine Park pieces that were ordered to be destroyed by Swedish authorities. The group will hold a reception on Thursday at 5pm in Christiansborg and say they have found a new location for a public exhibition beginning on Monday.
“I didn’t realise that freedom of expression is so weak in Denmark that one must endure death threats just because they are prepared to host a peaceful and informative exhibition,” the the Danish Free Press Society’s chairwoman, Katrine Winkel Holm, said in a statement.
Holm said that a new location for the exhibition has been found in the Copenhagen district of Østerbro, but that the society would not reveal its exact location until Monday.
“It would be a colossal defeat for the freedom of speech if violent criminals are able to stop the show. We can’t allow that, so we look forward to giving everyone the opportunity to see Dan Park’s forbidden pictures,” Winkel Holm said.
In addition to display Park’s works, the Free Speech Library – a for-profit offshoot of the Danish Free Press Society – is selling ‘Sweden’s most dangerous artwork’ online.
Von Hornsleth is now the second party to withdraw from plans to display Park's works in Denmark. Radio24syv originally planned to show the disputed pieces but was forced to drop its plans after negative feedback.