Denmark’s top art school head sacked over royal bust stunt

The head of Denmark's top art school has been sacked over the drowning of a bust of a former king in a Copenhagen canal, the culture ministry said Monday.

Denmark's top art school head sacked over royal bust stunt
The bust of King Frederik V after being thrown into Copenhagen Harbour in November. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Artist Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld lost her job when she took a replica bust of the 18th-century monarch Frederik V from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where she was employed, and dumped it to draw attention to the country's colonial past and its involvement in the slave trade, especially in modern day Ghana.

The action, which she called a “happening,” was initially carried out anonymously. Dirckinck-Holmfeld was removed from her post the day she came forward as the responsible party.

The scandal on Monday claimed the scalp of the Academy's director Kirsten Langkilde, who had sent an internal mail with a link to the video of the bust being dumped without any comment, just saying “Have a good weekend”.

“The culture ministry and Kirsten Langkilde have not been able to come to an agreement on the challenges facing the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

There is therefore the need for new energy,” Culture Minister Joy Mogensen said.

The event, which took place on November 6th, was recorded in a video and the group Anonymous Artists claimed responsibility before Dirckinck-Holmfeld stepped forward.

Anonymous Artists said the action was to show “solidarity with all the artists, students and people all over the world who have had to live with the aftermath of Danish colonialism.”

At its peak, Denmark's colonies were spread across four continents from the Danish West Indies in the modern-day US Virgin Islands, to the Danish Gold Coast, now a part of Ghana.

Its holdings also included Greenland, which remains part of Denmark, and territories in India.

READ ALSO: 'Racist fish': Little Mermaid statue vandalised in Copenhagen

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Move Zlatan sculpture from Sweden to Milan where he’s appreciated, artist says

The sculptor whose towering bronze statue of Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was vandalised on Sunday has called for it to be moved to Milan.

Move Zlatan sculpture from Sweden to Milan where he's appreciated, artist says
Artist Peter Linde (right) on stage with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) before the statue was unveiled in October. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The Italian city is where the footballer played at the peak of his career, representing both AC Milan and its bitter rival Inter Milan, and it is where he is returning this year for his footballing swan song at the former. 
“Stick it in Milan, that would be a good place. There they're happy for him, and not so idiotic as they are here,” Peter Linde told the Aftonbladet newspaper on Sunday.
Linde said, however, that he felt that it would be sad to give in to what he called “the forces of stupidity”. “Most of all, I'd like to think that we shouldn't move it, but I understand that perhaps we must,” he said. 
At 1.30am on Sunday, vandals sawed off both feet of the 2.7m bronze statue, causing it to topple over. The attack, like previous attempts to vandalise the statue, appears to have come as revenge against Ibrahimovic for his decision to invest in Hammarby IF, the Stockholm football team which is one of Malmö FF's bitterest rivals. 
The statue has since been moved to a secret location for repair. 
In an interview with Italian journalists on January 2, the Swedish striker said that for him Milan was “home”. 
“I've always said that Milan is my home and finally I'm back,” he said, in halting Italian, shortly before holding his first press conference with AC Milan.  
According to Milan's trainer Stefano Pioli, the Swedish star seemed “completely unaffected” by the attack.
“I spoke with Zlatan less than five minutes ago and we spoke on other things, nothing at all about the statue,” Pioli said at a press conference on Sunday. “For me he seemed very calm and unaffected by what has happened.” 
Ibrahimovic first moved to Milan back in 2006 when he signed four-year contract with Inter Milan, ending his stint three years later as the Italian league's top goal scorer. 
He returned in August 2010 to play for AC Milan, initially on loan from Barcelona, ending his time as the league's top goal scorer, before moving to Paris Saint Germain in 2012. 
Håkan Sjöstrand, the General Secretary of the Swedish Football Association, said that he was in discussions with both LInde and Malmö's city government over the statue's future. 
“The statue first needs to be repaired and then it's up to Malmö's city government which owns the statue,” he said. 
Ibrahimovic was relegated to the bench for his first game back at AC Milan against Sampdoria on Monday, with Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek starting ahead of the former Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain player at the San Siro.