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Charges dropped against Swedish artist who stole Holocaust victims’ ashes

(JTA) — Prosecutors in Lublin said they have no legal basis for prosecuting a Swedish artist who admitted to stealing ashes of Holocaust victims who died in Poland.

An investigation into the actions of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who allegedly used human ashes stolen from the former death Nazi death camp Majdanek, was suspended by prosecutors in the Polish city because the theft occurred in 1989; the Polish statute of limitations for such a theft is five years.

The case is "beyond the jurisdiction of the Polish justice system," a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office was quoted as telling Polskie Radio.

The District Prosecutor’s Office in Lublin started looking into the artist’s actions in January following an outcry involving his use of human ashes for paintings that were supposed to be displayed in an art gallery in Lund, in southern Sweden. He told the media he took the ashes from Majdanek, which is now a museum. 

Von Hausswolff’s exhibition was closed due to the controversy surrounding his work.

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