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Museum evacuated after 'racist' bomb threat

18 Apr 2012, 07:32

Published: 18 Apr 2012 07:32 GMT+02:00

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Stockholm's Moderna Museet received the call on Tuesday at 4pm, directly after Queen Silvia and the Finnish prime-minister’s wife Jenni Haukio had been visiting.

“The person who rang spoke English and said that there was a bomb and that it wasn’t a joke. He said the museum was a racist one,” said Lotta Guffhe of the Stockholm police to Aftonbladet newspaper.

The building was evacuated and a bomb squad was called in, complete with sniffer dogs.

By 8pm, the police confirmed that the threat was false.

The Moderna Museet has caught the public’s attention in Sweden this week after the Swedish minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth carved up a cake depicting a naked black woman.

The move by the minister, who claimed her actions were “misinterpreted”, sparked outrage amongst the National Afro-Swedish Association, resulting in spokesperson Kitimbwa Sabuni calling for the minister’s dismissal.

As part of the installation, which was reportedly meant to highlight the issue of female circumcision, the culture minister began cutting a large cake shaped like a black woman, symbolically starting at the clitoris.

Liljeroth, who claimed that art is “meant to be provocative”, was sympathetic to the association's reaction, but nevertheless defended her actions.

"I was invited to speak at World Art Day about art's freedom and the right to provoke. And then they wanted me to cut the cake,” Adelsohn Liljeroth told the TT news agency.

Police have launched an investigation into the bomb threat.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the museum emphasized that it was against "any form or racism" and that the event featuring the controversial installation was organized by the Swedish Artists’ National Organisation (KRO) to highlight "the fight against censorship and for freedom of expression".

Story continues below…

"Moderna Museet understands and respects that people find the pictures and video clips from World Art Day upsetting, especially when they are shown out of context. The intention of KRO and Makode Linde was to draw attention to and discuss today’s racism, not to reinforce it," the museum said.

Adelsohn Liljeroth is scheduled to meet with representatives from the National Afro-Swedish Association on Wednesday evening to discuss the matter.

The Local/og


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Your comments about this article

08:16 April 18, 2012 by johan rebel
These hollering and wailing imbeciles should devote their time to fighting the mutilations of females in the primitive countries the "fled" from.
08:34 April 18, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
The pathological buffoon who made the bomb threat is so mentally retarded that he is incapable of comprehending that the art is by a black artist and is meant to call attention to horrific crime against humanity, which is the ongoing mass systematic mutilation of girls and young women.

The art has nothing to do with the colour of the skin of the people who were cutting the cake, or the colour of the skin of the victim. This art is a call to action, not racism, you idiot.
08:57 April 18, 2012 by rise
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:16 April 18, 2012 by Recho
Iam black but my fellow confused black artist who has never been back to Africa since .. has bad taste. Yes, bad taste of art on a sensitive issue. It is provocative but it did not work for the targeted audience. I do not blame the Minister - she was caught unaware. I am sure she is now thinking about those who were amused during the event ..that it was not funny after all! I also dont like when someone is threatening Sweden with non existence bombs, I love Sweden and Swedish people. Kitimbwa take it easy!!
09:24 April 18, 2012 by gpafledthis
National Health Dept ?? Anyone notice someone is "piscene" in the gene pool !! (like obscene)
09:26 April 18, 2012 by robban70226
This world will be easier and simpler if People stop imposing theyr beliefs and cultures in others and respect the diversity in life.

Most of the existing problems in the atttempt of cultural colinization of others, live and let live, If you want others to respect you you mos leard to respect the others, wheather er like it or not.
11:24 April 18, 2012 by libertarianism
Does the National Afro-Swedish Association restrict its membership to individuals with physical traits traditionally associated with Africa? If so, then K. Sabuni is racist and the National Afro-Swedish Association is a racist organization. Report that to the DO.

Why did the National Afro-Swedish Association not participate in the anit-female-mutilation campaign?

Does the National Afro-Swedish Association consider female mutilation to be a problem? If so, how is the association combating this problem?

The "person of color" artist Makode Linde has been creating reinterpretations of blackface gollywogs "Afromantics" for years. For years, his work has been presented and written about in Sweden. This is part of the greater context.

See http://www.urbanlife.se/en/arts/exhibitions/387-afromantics.

It seems that the National Afro-Swedish Association should be familiar with Linde and his work. Has the association previously supported, protested, ignored his work? Why were such actions/inactions taken?

If a person perceived as "black" had cut the cake, would Sabuni be upset?

If Liljeroth had refused to cut the cake, then we would have headlines that a "white" minister snubbed a "black" artist by refusing to participate in a campaign to save the lives and life quality of an infinite number of "black" women.
12:05 April 18, 2012 by kristianj
Once again blacks are complaining of white racism. Strangely enough we never hear of black racism against white.

The more blacks go on about racism the more i feel incline to dislike them for their intolerance and their supposed victimhood.
12:32 April 18, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ robban70226 post #6

From your post it sounds like you support the practise of female circumcision, and that we should not impose any colonial belief system on any other culture, and simply accept the differences that may exist, whether we like it or not. Is this what you are saying?

Civilized and intelligent people hold certain beliefs to be self evident. One of these is that women are equal to men, and are fully entitled to all the joys and pleasures that life has to offer, and so that to mutilate helpless girls in such a way that in some cases they might never experience an orgasm is sex for their entire lives is utterly cruel and repulsive. If you want to mutilate yourself, go ahead, but how dare you mutilate helpless children?

Anyone who supports that hideous and painful act is guilty of participating in a crime against humanity, and should be deeply ashamed of themselves, and in some ways are no better than Josef Mengele.

To all supporters of female circumcistion I hereby recommend a full frontal lobotomy. You are intellectual weaklings and morally spineless, and you terrorize and potentially ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent girls.
12:41 April 18, 2012 by kristianj
We are told in Europe to love multiculturalism, we have no choice but to accept their way of life.

They want to mutilate their children, no problem. It is called MULTICULTURALISM.

We are forced to embrace different values and culture, dare we not,they call us racists, , islamophobes

You can´t have your cake and eat it..as the bristish say..
12:55 April 18, 2012 by comentatir
There is a totally different thing that disturbs me about this piece of art. There are some thing people should be aware of when it comes to art in the western world by non-western artists. For some reason western art world gets delighted to see an Iranian female artist's work dealing with women rights for example or Chinese artists work about ongoing Chinese political and cultural issues or an African artist's work about underdevelopment in Africa. List goes on and on.

This makes it really difficult to distinguish a good piece of art from a bad one since artists craving for attention tend to deal with such issues with such an ease, quite frankly. Please keep this side of the story in mind as well when you are reading this article.
14:50 April 18, 2012 by rise
Ah! And here I was thinking we had freedom of speech in Sweden. Silly me, how could I've been so naive, forgetting my own words "freedom of speech only exists for as long as you act politically correctly" (meaning cowardly).
16:47 April 18, 2012 by Larry Thrash
Rise you are totally correct. We aren't allowed to discuss racism that's aimed at Caucasians. We refuse to look at racism from an honest open point of view. In today's world we have to start with the idea that Caucasians are the evil ones. In this modern world the western democracies are the least racist of any country that exist. Most of this finger pointing involves money. I yell "racism", you give me money and I shut up.
17:21 April 18, 2012 by Pakistani_Student
lol this cake is all around the news but one thing is confirmed, swedes are extremely racist and hateful towards non-swedes ...
18:38 April 18, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Pakistani_student

There now are over 85 posts in the blog under the first article, and 15 here.

If you want to be taken seriously, then don't just spew your nonsense that it has now been confirmed that all Swedes are extremely racist and hateful toward non-swedes.

Compose a post that that backs up your claim of racism and hatred that is actually based on logic and facts relating to this particular event.

Clearly you are still a student, and not a graduate, of any educational program.

Your last post gets a grade of F.
20:14 April 18, 2012 by bramblebush

Do to the fact that swedes are so "racist", you should leave here and go back to that cesspool you are from.
20:16 April 18, 2012 by rise

"We aren't allowed to discuss racism that's aimed at Caucasians."

No we are not. People of the Swedish society complaining about something of the followers of the religion Islam = evil, prejudiced racists! Now I'm not sure why people are seeing Islam as a race, but there you have it.

Muslim immigrants who fancy to insult Swedes = no problema, perfectly OK so just keep up your hard work!!
20:39 April 18, 2012 by wxman
The entire West should terminate all immigration from the sh*thole nations of the world. Instead of being grateful for the opportunity to be free and to pursue success, unlike in their homeland, the first thing they do is bitch and moan about the native country and its citizens. Useless vermin and criminals, discard them all.
23:04 April 18, 2012 by godnatt
Because clearly the best way to combat the stereotypes of being barbaric terrorist thugs is to threaten to kill people for baking a (rather ridiculous) cake.

Must be Somali logic at its finest.

Now all the Swedes will love you.
23:41 April 18, 2012 by cabralb
I can only see that the artwork is a bit offensive to the public, a bit of discussion would take this rage away. I mean not everyone is the same at reading art, and its impact is relative to a context. I dont think this shows any of Sweden as a racist, and the Minister was so innocent. I am sure this art wouldnt encounter the same reaction had it been exhibited in African countries. The fact is, however, today FGM is much more common in african and middle eastern countries.
23:58 April 18, 2012 by diegoveggie
i guess the point is that the piece of art is more of a piece of sht. if the idea of cutting some cake by a rich white lady, will bring about change in african countries, then yeah. go ahead. keep making art to save the world, while sipping champagne, wearing fancy clothes. plus, the cake looked horrible. plus, what's with all the video installations at moderna? where are all the picassos and such? all those videos make me dizzy. it's like youtube, minus the dancing and bad singing. so, less videos, no cakes, and more paintings. the coffee is ok, tho.
00:25 April 19, 2012 by reinc2u
I think that 'litte green men' feel very uneasy any time someone tries prinsestårta..
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