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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lars Vilks at the site of Nimis in Kullaberg.



Vilks was born in Helsingborg, Sweden. He earned a Ph.D. in art history from Lund University in 1987 and worked at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts from 1988 to 1993. From 1997 to 2003 he was a professor in art theory at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. As an art theorist, Vilks is a proponent of the institutional theory of art.

Nimis and Arx

Wood sculptures by Vilks at Kullaberg.

Vilks became known in 1980 as the creator of the wooden sculptures Nimis and Arx, which are now located in the Kullaberg nature reserve in Höganäs Municipality, Skåne. In 1996, the small area where the sculptures are located was proclaimed by Vilks as an independent country named Ladonia. Nimis was sold to Joseph Beuys as a means to circumvent the Swedish building code laws concerning unlawful building process. The sculpture of Nimis is now owned by concept artist Christo, the legal document documenting the sale is on display at the Swedish Museum of Sketches. The document consists of a piece of drift wood formerly a part of the sculpture.

Muhammad drawings controversy

Drawing by Lars Vilks, published in Nerikes Allehanda

Lars Endel Roger Vilks (born 20 June 1946) is a Swedish artist.

In 2007, Vilks was embroiled in an international controversy after he made a series of drawings depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog. The drawings were initially intended to be shown at a local art exhibition in the small town of Tällerud in Värmland, Sweden, in July 2007, but were removed from the exhibition by the organizers, citing security concerns and fear of violence from Muslims, shortly before its opening.[1] Following the first refusal, Vilks submitted the drawings to several other art galleries in Sweden, including the distinguished Gerlesborg School of Fine Art in Bohuslän where Vilks is a frequent lecturer, but all declined to show the drawings for the same reason.

The controversy gained international attention after the Örebro-based regional newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published one of the drawings on 18 August to illustrate an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of religion.[2] While several other leading Swedish newspapers had published the drawings at this time, this publication led to protests from Muslim organizations in Sweden as well as condemnations from several foreign governments including Iran,[3] Pakistan,[4] Afghanistan,[5] Egypt,[6] and Jordan,[7] as well as by the inter-governmental Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which also called for the Swedish government to take "punitive actions" against Vilks.[8] Following this controversy, Vilks has been forced to live under police protection after having received several death threats, including a statement by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq which has offered up to $150,000 for his assassination.[9][10][11]

On 9 March 2010, Colleen R. LaRose from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburbs, had her federal indictment unsealed charging her with trying to recruit Islamic terrorists to murder Vilks.[12]

The same day, seven people were arrested in Ireland over an alleged plot to assassinate Vilks.[13] However, to the consternation of US and Swedish authorities four of the suspects were released without charge after 3 days in custody (they could have been held for questioning for up to seven days) and before investigations into their possible involvement in any assassination plot were completed.[14]


  • (1987) Konst och konster (in Swedish; dissertation), Malmö: Wedgepress & Cheese, ISBN 91-85752-57-6.
  • (1993) Att läsa Arx (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-88248-43-7.
  • (1993) Arx : en bok om det outsägliga (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-88248-47-X.
  • (1994) Nimis och Arx (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-88248-50-X.
  • (1995) Konstteori : kameler går på vatten (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-88248-94-1.
  • (1999) Det konstnärliga uppdraget? : en historia om konsthistoria, kontextkonst och det metafysiska överskottet (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-578-0331-5.
  • (2002) T.O.A. : [teori om allting] (in Swedish), Malmö: Galleri 21, ISBN 91-631-2330-4.
  • (2003) Myndigheterna som konstnärligt material : den långa historien om Nimis, Arx, Omfalos och Ladonien (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-578-0429-X (hardback).
  • (2004) Spartips : 34 tips för konstnärer, kommuner, vissa obemedlade samt underbetalda (in Swedish), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-578-0451-6.
  • (2005) Hur man blir samtidskonstnär på tre dagar : handbok med teori (in Swedish; co-author: Martin Schibli), Nora: Nya Doxa, ISBN 91-578-0459-1.

See also


  1. ^ Brink, Bosse (2007-07-21). "Teckningar på Muhammed togs bort" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  2. ^ Ströman, Lars (2007-08-18). "Rätten att förlöjliga en religion" (in Swedish). Nerikes Allehanda. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  English translation
  3. ^ "Iran protests over Swedish Muhammad cartoon". Agence France-Presse. 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  4. ^ Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2007-08-30). "Pakistan condemns the publication of offensive sketch in Sweden". Press release. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  5. ^ Salahuddin, Sayed (2007-09-01). "Indignant Afghanistan slams Prophet Mohammad sketch". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  6. ^ Fouché, Gwladys (2007-09-03). "Egypt wades into Swedish cartoons row". The Guardian.,,2161595,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  7. ^ "Jordan condemns new Swedish Mohammed cartoon". Agence France-Presse. 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  8. ^ Organization of the Islamic Conference (2007-08-30). "The Secretary General strongly condemned the publishing of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad by Swedish artist". Press release. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  9. ^ Scherlund, Erik (2007-08-31). "Lars Vilks hotad till livet" (in Swedish). TV4Nyheterna. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  10. ^ "Vilks to get police protection". Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå/The Local. 2007-09-16. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  11. ^ "Bounty set over Prophet cartoon". BBC News. 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  12. ^ Emily Friedman and Jason Ryan (May 9, 2010). "American Colleen LaRose Called Herself Jihad Jane". ABC News. 
  13. ^ Pogatchnik, Shawn (2010-03-09). "Irish arrest 7 over threat to kill Swedish artist". The Buffalo News/Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  14. ^ CBS News Online: U.S. woman in Irish terror probe released

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