Artist Nerdrum loses his appeal

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Odd Nerdrum, long considered one of Norway’s most talented artists, received an even longer jail sentence on Wednesday than the one he was appealing. Nerdrum, convicted of tax evasion, now faces two years and 10 months in prison.

Artist Odd Nedrum made a rare appearance on the Norwegian-Swedish talk show "Skavlan," aired on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), during which he not only denied tax evasion but claimed the Norwegian state owed him money. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/Views and News

An appeals court in Oslo granted the lengthier term sought by state prosecutors. Nerdrum had appealed an earlier jail term issued by the Oslo City Court (Oslo tingrett) to the court called Borgarting lagmannsrett.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that lead prosecutor Asbjørg Lykkjen was satisfied with the verdict handed down by the court, which hadn’t been expected to rule until after the summer holidays. Nerdrum’s trial ended just a week ago.

Lykkjen claimed that Nerdrum had exploited the Norwegian tax system and that it was important he received what’s considered a lengthy prison term for tax evasion. “As a preventative measure, tax evasion must be strictly punished,” Lykkjen said.

Nerdrum had argued all along that he did not underreport the proceeds of sales of his paintings abroad, had not evaded taxes and that the Norwegian state, by his own calculations, owed him money. Nerdrum has long felt persecuted in Norway and left the country several years ago to live in Iceland. He currently lives in France.

Nerdrum has refused to be interviewed by Norwegian reporters for years but made an appearance on the popular Swedish-Norwegian talk show Skavlan, hosted by Norwegian Fredrik Skavlan. There he claimed the state had been “out to get him” since he debuted as an artist.

Since he likely won’t be allowed to paint in prison, because of rules preventing prisoners from pursing their business interests while incarcerated, Nerdrum also has claimed his prison sentence was a way for the state to push him towards suicide.

His defense counsel had argued for full acquittal of charges Nerdrum had failed to declare as much as NOK 14 million in sales proceeds from his paintings. Nerdrum testified that many of the paintings had been damaged because of a problem with the quality of the paint, and he had merely set aside sales proceeds in case refunds would be demanded.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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  1. Horrible. All I’m saying is if you are going to lock him up – let him paint in jail!

  2. The world is do this to their few genius is unberable..this can not bee…

  3. as an artist that is the worst possible scenario. I hope something can be worked out, because this istoo cruel.

  4. Why not let him paint while in jail and sell the proceeds to pay what’s owed.

  5. There is no rich man to pay his tax…?
    He is Honest he doesn’t want to pay …
    I think the art people should not pay any tax …
    Because they dedicate their astrocytes cardiocytes dendrites…
    (brain and heart cells)
    They burn every cell to achieve their goal
    And make the rich happy
    To trade with their paintings …
    And earn more and more
    The art people are selfless…
    They paint day and night…no rest
    While the rich enjoy their drink and mistresses…
    What an unfair world we live in…!
    Shame on Norwegian Government…To ask few crones…?
    Are they poor…They are richer than Gulf Arabs…

    Written Instantly …through passion…which i can never hide…!!!

  6. Here we go! An artist in Norway has got done for tax evasion for not declaring about £150,000’s worth of taxable earnings on works at home and abroad. He will go to prison for 2 years and 10 months. WHY is no one going to prison at Barclays bank for trying to get away with over 5 billion pounds worth of fraud where the perpetrators would get a bonus on the illegal profits? I just don’t get it!

  7. elixaweb says:

    Glad to hear there is still justice in Norway.

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