A Swedish artist Bengt Andersson was severely beaten by security guards after he attempted to display a pistol sculpture accompanied by steel penis-shaped ammunition. The mix up took place at the Ronnquist and Ronnquist gallery in Malmo last week, when the 73-year-old Andersson dropped by to showcase his work in hopes of having it exhibited.
Security guards had been stationed at the gallery to protect Lars Vilks, an artist whose life has been repeatedly threatened since publishing a drawing of the Muslim prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog in a Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda in 2007.
When Andersson removed his sculpture from the case, he was immediately pounced by the guards who mistook it as a legitimate threat.
“I just wanted to show off my art,” Andersson told the local Sydsvenskan daily. “I had no idea that Vilks was there just at then. How was I supposed to know that?”
Post beating, the artist was dragged from the gallery, taken to the hospital and then jailed for five hours. He is now filing charges alleging excessive violence. However local police are supporting the security guards’ actions.
“When they see a weapon they have to intervene like this to protect this subject (Vilks) who is subject to a high level of threat,” authorities told a local paper.