fibreglass cow that disappeared from Skeppsholmen met a gory end - and the thieves seem to have accomplished their goal, at least in part. "/> fibreglass cow that disappeared from Skeppsholmen met a gory end - and the thieves seem to have accomplished their goal, at least in part. " />
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Stolen cow beheaded

So the fibreglass cow that disappeared from Skeppsholmen met a gory end - and the thieves seem to have accomplished their goal, at least in part.

As The Local reported last week, a fiberglass cow participating in the city-wide Cow Parade hit the headlines by getting itself stolen from the lawn of Stockholm’s Moderna Museet. Shortly afterwards a threat surfaced as a group calling themselves “Stockholm’s militant graffiti artists” released a video inspired by footage of Al-Qaida cells and recent hostage films.

In the video, which could be viewed over the group’s web site, two masked youngsters demanded that that all the cows be removed from the streets of Stockholm by noon on August 23, and that it be admitted that the Cow Parade was in fact not art at all.

For some days, the newspapers speculated about the militants and their motives, and project organizers tried to find a middle ground that they could share with the cownappers. Dagens Nyheter reported that the Cow Parade organizers at advertising and public relations bureau Ogilvy had offered the activists a white cow to decorate in exchange for the stolen cow, so that they could clarify what “real art” was. The organizers even offered to auction off the cow with all the others in September. Stockholm’s militant graffiti artists, perhaps not surprisingly, were unmoved.

Backa Carin Ivarsdotter, the artist who decorated the stolen cow, began to speculate about the real identity of the thieves. Dagens Nyheter reported that Ivarsdotter “didn’t for a second believe that it was graffiti artists who had stolen the cow. It’s more likely art students – bad ones, at that – who want attention”.

She held up as evidence the text on the banner in the background of the video, which “didn’t look like the work of graffiti artists”.

Färgfabriken, which this summer displayed David Lynch’s somewhat gruesome contribution to Cow Parade New York (which was not shown in that project, being in near-total disregard of the crowd-pleasing, somewhat commercial aims of the Cow Parade), began to arrange a discussion on the cows and on the privatisation of public streets.

Unfortunately, no one really extended any sort of olive branch, and the cow ended up as most cows do – in bits. On Monday Ogilvy received several fragments of the cow in a black plastic bag. The threatening video on the militants’ website had been replaced with one showing the cow’s beheading. Look to this week’s conversations at Färgfabriken and the culture columns for breaking news in the tragedy.

The Cow Parade: http://stockholm.cowparade.com/

Färgfabriken: http://fargfabriken.se/

ART

Stockholm’s giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints

A giant blue penis painted on a Stockholm apartment building is to be covered up after just one week, the company which owns the building has said.

Stockholm's giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints
The penis was painted in blue with a yellow background, perhaps reflecting Sweden's national colours. Photo: Photo: Hugo Röjgård/Graffitifrämjandet
Atrium Ljungberg said it had come to the decision after receiving a barrage of complaints about the five-story high depiction of a bulging erection.  
 
“Of course we care about artistic freedom, but at the same time we must respect the opinion of our closest neighbours,” Camilla Klint, the company's marketing head, said in a statement. 
 
“By letting it remain for a short period, we are offering anyone who's interested a chance to experience the work.” 
 
The company said that it had been given no prior warning that a giant penis was about to appear on one of its blocks. 
 
“On Wednesday morning, April 11th, we saw  Kollektivet Livet's new work for the first time, at exactly the same moment as all the other people who live on Kungsholmen did,” it said in its statement.  
 
Under their arrangement, the artist collective had total artistic freedom over the works it commissioned for the wall, at Kronobergsgatan 35 on the central Stockholm island of Kungsholmen.  
 
The decision will come as a disappointment to the artist Carolina Falkholt. Her first giant penis painting, which she plastered on a wall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in December, lasted only a few days. 
 
She said on Wednesday that she expected her native Swedes to be more receptive. 
 
Atrium Ljungberg did acknowledge that many appreciated the painting. 
 
“Some people are positive about the work and see it as playing an important part in the debate around sexuality, the body and gender,” the company wrote.
 
“Others, particularly neighbours, have received the work less well, and experience it as offensive.”
 
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