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CM von Hausswolff exhibits paintings containing ashes from Polish concentration camp

Swedish artist CM von Hausswolff has been widely criticised for exhibiting a series of paintings using the ashes of concentration camp victims mixed with water, which have recently been included in an exhibition of the artist's work at the Martin Bryder Gallery in Lund, Sweden.

In von Hausswolff's artist statement, posted by the gallery, he states that he took ashes from the cremation ovens at the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland in 1989, where an estimated 80,000 people were killed during the Second World War, and used them in a series of paintings over 20 years later in 2010.

In a statement, the Majdanek museum said: "This action is probably an artistic provocation deserving only to be condemned. However, it is certain that the Swedish painter did not enter into possession of the ashes legally," and described the alleged theft as an "unimaginably barbaric act". Bryder, the gallery owner, is reported as telling a Swedish radio station that he saw "no moral problem or flaw" with exhibiting the paintings, although at time of writing, the exhibition appears to have been closed early.

[via BBC]