Artist pledges to demolish USD45mn worth of art if Assange passes away in jail


(MENAFN) Renowned Russian-born artist Andrey Molodkin has stirred controversy with his latest art project, revealing plans to destroy 16 highly valuable paintings worth an estimated USD45 million in the event of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange's death in prison. The collaborative endeavor, known as the 'Dead Man's Switch,' has garnered attention for its provocative stance on the imprisonment of Assange, who has been detained in Britain for nearly five years and is facing potential extradition to the United States.

Molodkin claims to have secured the endorsement of Stella Assange, the journalist's wife, for the unique art destruction initiative. The project involves influential figures in the art world lending their valuable property for this symbolic act, featuring works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Rembrandt, and Andy Warhol. Stored in plywood boxes within a secure 29-ton safe located in an undisclosed location in France, the paintings are accompanied by two barrels of chemicals, set to be activated if Assange's well-being is compromised.

A countdown timer, requiring daily resetting by individuals close to Assange who are certain of his safety, plays a crucial role in preventing the chemical mixture from destroying the artworks.

Molodkin emphasizes that the primary intent is not to destroy art but to prompt reflection on society's priorities, where the potential destruction of a person's life often goes unnoticed, while the destruction of art remains a significant taboo.

As the artist sheds light on the moral and ethical implications of his 'Dead Man's Switch' project, the initiative underscores the intersection of art, activism, and the ongoing legal battle surrounding Assange. With the journalist's extradition hearing looming, Molodkin's provocative creation challenges societal norms and perceptions surrounding the value of human life and cultural artifacts.

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