Monday, January 19, 2004

The historical museum was closed today as it is every Monday, although there were a few news photographers lurking outside when a co-worker and I stopped by at lunch today to see if we could catch a glimpse of the pool of blood in the museum's courtyard. Because, you see, on Friday, the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, in a fury, threw one of the spotlights on the periphery of the courtyard into the red pool, which was part of an installation called "Snow White and the Madness of Truth," by an Israeli artist living in Sweden.

The ambassador said that the piece - a small white boat with a picture of a Palestinian suicide bomber on the sail, floating in a sea of water dyed the color of blood - promoted terrorism and was an incitement to genocide. He was eventually thrown out of the museum. It's been all over the Swedish news since Friday, vying for attention with coverage of the trial of the murderer of Anna Lindh.

The Israeli government has called for the work to be dismantled.

The Swedish government has said, more or less, that this won't happen.

Me, I want to decide for myself. The piece is terribly provocative - it is part of a show held in conjunction with a conference on genocide. And it is, without a doubt, implicitly critical of Israel. But the underlying message seems to be that both Israelis and Palestinians are suffering.

But, really, I haven't seen it yet, so it's not quite fair to decide anything just yet.

The Swedish word for the day dom. It means judgement.

- Francis S.

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