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Polish prosecutors probing artist’s claim he used ashes from Majdanek

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(JTA) — Prosecutors in Poland are investigating a Swedish artist’s claim that he used ashes he collected at Majdanek to create a painting.

The painting by artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff was on display for about a month in a gallery in Lund, Sweden, before it was pulled because of protests by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Jewish community of Malmo.

Polish prosecutors opened the investigation based on media reports, according to The Associated Press, and will ask Swedish investigators for help.

If it is found that von Hausswolf indeed used ashes illegally collected at Majdanek, he could be charged in Poland with desecrating human ash or a resting place, according to the AP.

The artist told a local newspaper in November that he used ashes that he collected in 1989 from Majdanek, a Nazi extermination camp in Poland, to paint a monochrome work featuring vertical brushstrokes in a rectangle “representing the suffering of the victims."

 

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