Dutch authorities have destroyed a piece of public art meant to memorialize slain filmmaker Theo van Gogh because it included the phrase “Thou shalt not kill.”
According to Radio Netherlands, the Volkskrant newspaper reported a Dutch artist in Rotterdam wanted to express his emotions over the murder of van Gogh, who was allegedly killed by a Muslim extremist last week due to his criticism of Islam.
The artist’s painting on a wall in his neighborhood included an ascending angel with the date and the familiar commandment from the Old Testament inscribed. Authorities were not impressed.
“In the year 2004, this commandment is considered too sensitive in our multicultural society,” wrote the Volkskrant.
Officials ordered the immediate removal of the artwork from the public space, Radio Netherlands reported.
According to the newspaper, when a local television team showed up, the police ordered the crew to stop filming the painting and hand over the film. A reporter who tried to stop the destruction of the painting was jailed for three hours.
One city lawmaker quoted in the paper described the incident as “a fantastic example of the madness in which we live.”