Lars Vilks, threatened Swedish artist, dies in traffic accident: Report
STOCKHOLM — The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had lived under police protection since his 2007 sketch of the Prophet Muhammad with a dog’s body brought death threats, died from a traffic accident Sunday, Swedish news media reported.
The Swedish news agency TT stated that police had confirmed that Vilks 75, were traveling in the car along with two officers. Dagens Nyheter reported that the partner of the artist confirmed his demise.
An investigation was underway to determine the cause of the accident.
Vilks was little-known outside of Sweden, before his Muhammad drawing. he was most well-known for creating a sculpture out of driftwood in a natural reserve in southern Sweden, without permission. This triggered a long legal battle. He was fined but the seaside sculpture, a mess of wood that has been nailed together in a chaotic fashion, attracts tens to thousands of people every year.
Vilks‘ life changed radically 13 years ago after he drew a sketch of Muhammad with a dog’s body. Conservative Muslims consider dogs unclean and Islamic law generally prohibits depictions of the prophet with dogs, even if they are favorable.
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