The Norwegian artist who goes by the initials AFK mounted another politically charged painting in Bergen over the weekend, this time depicting a tortured Julian Assange. It didn’t last long, and was gone by Monday morning.
The painting showed Assange dressed like prisoners in Iraq who were mocked and harassed by US troops. Assange’s leaks of confidential communication revealed what many consider to be war crimes. His recent arrest in London amidst extradition demands by the US are widely viewed as threats to free speech.
AFK mounted his painting on the same corner where he depicted a crucified version of controversial Norwegian politician Sylvi Listhaug as a martyr as well last year. That painting was also removed, but later resurrected and sold.
The fate of AFK’s Assange painting, which he had requested be left in place, remained unclear. It was also taken down but then restored, only to be vandalized and then, according to Bergen newspaper BA, removed once again by two people claiming to be from the city’s historic preservation agency Byantikvaren. The agency denied any involvement with the painting.