Swedish museum evacuated after bomb threat

Associated Press SHARE

By LOUISE NORDSTROM, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A bomb threat closed Stockholm's modern art museum on Tuesday, two days after an exhibit about degrading stereotypes that black people have endured prompted one Swedish organization to demand that the nation's culture minister resign.

No bomb was found while the museum was evacuated for several hours, and it was not clear who had made the threat or whether it was connected with the exhibit.

Police spokeswoman Lotta Goffhe said a bomb squad searched the Moderna Museet in Stockholm after officers in the southern city of Malmo received the threat in a telephone call from a man who spoke in English.

On Sunday, Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth participated in an event at the museum that involved several cakes designed by artists, including one in the shape of the naked torso of a black woman.

The black cake, part of an exhibition on World Art Day, was intended as part of Afro-Swedish artist Makode Linde's project illustrating degrading stereotypes of black people through history.

However, a Swedish organization promoting the rights of people of African origin called the cake exhibit racist and said that Liljeroth should resign for participating in a "tasteless, racist spectacle."

"According to Moderna Museet, the cake eating party was intended to highlight the problem of female circumcision, but how this is supposed to be done with a cake depicting a racist caricature of a black woman ... is unclear," said Kitimbwa Sabuni, head of the African Swedish National Association.

Liljeroth, whose photograph cutting a piece of the cake was widely shown in Swedish media, said she understood why people would be offended by the incident.

"I was invited to speak at World Art Day about the freedom of art and its right to provoke," she said in a statement to The Associated Press. "And then they wanted me to cut into the cake. I don't review art, but I can very well understand that this whole situation was misunderstood."

It was unclear if the bomb threat was related to the exhibition at the art museum.

Earlier Tuesday, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto visited the museum during a state visit.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.