'Work of Art' Outside Auschwitz Lands 2 in Prison

The group stripped naked, killed a sheep
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2018 7:47 AM CST
This Oct. 19, 2012 file photo shows the gate of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

(Newser) – The Auschwitz museum called the March incident "outrageous and unacceptable." It turned out to be worthy of punishment, too. A dozen people who showed up naked outside its gates, chained themselves to each other, and slaughtered a sheep—allegedly as a protest against the war in Ukraine—were found guilty of profaning the site by a Polish court. The BBC reports two Belarusians were handed sentences in excess of a year and the rest—who also hailed from Ukraine, Germany, and Poland—were handed community service, reports Radio Free Europe.

The museum's head had this to say: "These people desecrated one of the most tragic places in the world ... by shamelessly trying to use it to propagate vague ideas that never really were explained." Co-organizer Mikita Valadzko, who was sentenced to 14 months, tried to explain the group's idea to Radio Free Europe, which quotes him as saying they wanted to "draw attention to the fact that people have not learned anything from what happened at Auschwitz. We have not been properly taught that killing is bad, and people continue to kill." After hearing the verdict, the AFP quotes Valadzko as saying, "The court punished us for a work of art, it’s unfair." (Read more Auschwitz stories.)

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