Chilean artist Marco Evaristti has been acquitted the violation of Iceland’s nature conservation laws after due process according to RÚV’s report today. Last year the artist poured five litres of a non-toxic red fruit dye into the Strokkur geyser resulting in a pink eruption. The action caused considerable controversy; the charge stated that the environment of the geyser had been violated by dying the eruption with a colour that lingered in the environment, in the water and the earth around the geyser for some time.
The defence stated that the action was a work of art using nature as a canvas to bring attention to the cause of nature preservation by altering nature, the dye was completely harmless and dissolves raptly and disappears without causing any permanent damage.
The South Iceland District Court found Evaristti not guilty and the state has been ordered to pay for his legal costs, amounting to about half a million Icelandic Kroners ISK. Evaristti was pleased with the outcome of the trial, and happy that his performance had such a severe respond, raising questions and discussions about nature conservation “I want people to see what is happening to the environment,” he told reporters after the ruling. “I want them to realize that the soap they buy in stores harms the environment. All these cars and buses that go to the Geysir area every day damage the environment, not the food colouring I use.”