A police museum in the Danish capital has removed a controversial art exhibit following complaints from families of the victims depicted.
The work, which features impressionist portraits of 12 females murdered in Copenhagen in recent years, has for weeks drawn heavy fire because the museum and the Copenhagen police had not sought permission from the victims’ families before putting the paintings on display.
Some are especially angry because the museum’s management admitted that they intentionally avoided asking the families in order to protect freedom of speech.
Even the artist, Birgitte Skallgård, said that she felt that it was wrong to not have consulted the families prior to putting the work on display.
She told the media, “The debate is insulting and undignified for all the young women, for their relatives and for me. It was a huge mistake that the next of kin were not notified and invited to participate from the beginning. I had hoped that they would forgive it when they saw the pictures of them all; of Maria, Monika, Katja, Cecilie, Ghazala, Betina, Hanne, Anne-Stine, Anette, Lene, Marcela and Marie,” the Copenhagen Post reports.
But on Tuesday, the facility announced that it would remove the exhibition because the ongoing controversy had overwhelmingly clouded the original intentions surrounding the work.
An official statement posted on the museum’s website on Tuesday said, “The discussion surrounding the exhibition has overshadowed the exhibition itself and out of respect for the artist’s original idea, and to not further drag the next of kin through more debate, we have decided to cease the exhibition.”