Lars Vilks Biography – Lars Vilks Wiki
Lars Vilks (born Lars Endel Roger Vilks) was a Swedish visual artist and free speech activist, who stirred worldwide controversy in 2007 with drawings depicting the Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favourable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.
Vilks’s black-and-white drawing was published by a regional paper in Sweden in 2007 and was condemned by Muslims in the country, as well as by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an umbrella organization of 57 Muslim-majority countries.
Vilks subsequently received death threats, and a group linked to Al Qaeda placed a $100,000 bounty on his head, forcing him to temporarily move to a secret location.
Vilks was threatened repeatedly after the cartoon was published. In 2010, he was assaulted while giving a lecture on free speech at Uppsala University in Sweden. That year, two brothers were also jailed after trying to burn down his house. In a separate case, a suicide bomber sent messages to several Swedish news organizations singling out Mr. Vilks before detonating two explosives in central Stockholm, killing himself.
In 2015, a gunman in Copenhagen attacked a cafe where Mr. Vilks was speaking at an event called “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” killing a filmmaker and wounding three police officers. One of the organizers of the event, Helle Merete Brix, said she believed Mr. Vilks had been the intended target, although he was unharmed in the shooting. The police later said they had shot and killed a man they believed was responsible for the attack at the cafe as well as another attack at a synagogue, where one person was killed.
After the attacks, Vilks traveled with armed bodyguards, according to The Associated Press. “It’s like starting a new life,” he said. “Everything has changed. I have to understand that I cannot go back home. I have to probably find some other place to live.”
Despite offending Muslims and the threats against his life, Vilks said he had no regrets over the cartoon. “I’m actually not interested in offending the prophet,” Vilks told The A.P. in 2010. “The point is actually to show that you can. There is nothing so holy you can’t offend it.”
Before the Mohammed sketch, he was best known for building a sculpture made of driftwood in a nature reserve in southern Sweden without permission, triggering a lengthy legal battle. He was fined, but the seaside sculpture – a jumble of wood nailed together in chaotic fashion – draws tens of thousands of visitors a year.
Lars Vilks Age
Lars Endel Roger Vilks was born on 20 June 1946, in Helsingborg, Sweden. He died on 3 October 2021, in Markaryd, Sweden. He was 75.
Lars Vilks Partner
The name of Lars Vilks’ partner has been withheld for security reasons. Vilks and his partner had been together for 35 years, but lived as separate residents. In an interview with Expressen, Lars Vilks’ partner expressed her frustration over how the police treated them. “I’m so pissed off at how the police treated us. They did not make it easier for us to live. They made it more difficult,” the partner told Expressen.
Vilks and his partner had long fought to live together, in a country house that the partner had prepared so that they could spend their old age together. “I feel a rage over the situation and how we were treated. They hurt us. The police did everything to separate us,” she told Expressen.
Lars Vilks Death
Swedish artist Lars Vilks died in a traffic accident on 3 October 2021. Vilks, who had been under police protection since 2010, was headed toward his home in southern Sweden when the civilian police vehicle he was traveling in veered across the median and collided head-on with a truck, killing Vilks, and his two bodyguards, the police said. The truck driver was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
Police were yet to reveal the identity of those killed in the crash, but Lars Vilks’ partner confirmed his death to Dagens Nyheter newspaper in Sweden. The cause of the accident was under investigation, police said.
“This is a very tragic incident. It is now important to all of us that we do everything we can to investigate what happened and what caused the collision,” Swedish police said in a statement. “Initially, there is nothing that points to anyone else being involved.”