Mohammed Cartoon Goes on the Market

Artist, in hiding, calls drawing 'a symbol of freedom of expression'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 9:30 AM CST
Danish newspapers, including a cartoon of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban, are seen in this undated file photo.    (Getty Images (by Event) Individuals)
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(Newser) – Kurt Westergaard, the artist behind the most controversial of the Danish cartoons that sparked fierce Muslim protest in 2005, is looking to sell his drawing. The sketch of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban has sent Westergaard into hiding, under police protection, and potential buyers may be scared off at the prospect of a similar backlash. But ideas for the drawing's fate abound, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The artist's wife thinks it should go to a well-off Muslim who can publicly burn it. Westergaard would rather not destroy his work, however. "It is a symbol of democracy and freedom of expression. I think I should have a little money for this," he says. But the only party publicly admitting interest is the Danish Royal Library, which can't afford a big payout, and says it doesn't plan to get into a bidding war with "capitalist sharks."