Who’da thunk that painting a supermarket shelf full of beer would be cause to throw someone into the can?

The threat of imprisonment is facing Michal Oginski, a 25-year-old artist whose latest work is causing a big hiccup with authorities in Cieszyn, Poland.


Michal Oginski could be jailed for painting cans of beer on supermarket shelves.

According to the Austrian Times, police have seized his canvas, claiming the work violates the country’s tough laws on alcohol advertising and might encourage young people to start drinking.

“I was told by police that my work corrupts youth and promotes alcoholism,” Oginski told the paper. “But it’s just a painting of some beer cans. It’s part of a series of paintings depicting supermarket products. I’ve got others of washing powder and sugar. There’s nothing sinister or corrupting about it.”

Oginski has sought legal counsel from a local lawyer who is dumbfounded by the jail threat.

“This is absurd and I’ve never heard of such a ridiculous law,” attorney Beata Lejman said. “Are they going to confiscate Rembrandt’s pictures which show casks of wine?”

Kazmierz Plus, the city’s police chief, was quoted as saying: “I don’t make up the law. I just uphold it. And this painting breaks the Act of Sobriety Upbringing law, which is universally binding.”

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