Lawyer turns to police regarding school wall mural author's art

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Lawyer Viktorija Jarkina has turned to the State Police regarding the art of Kristians Brekte, who is also the author of the mural on a school wall causing friction in society earlier. Jarkina has addressed the police on alleged pornographic content in the artist's creative work, Latvian Television reported September 29.

Jarkina said: “I found that several works publicly available, some are sold for money, depict minors, children, mainly girls, respectively, these are visuals which can contain elements of pornography in my understanding as a woman.”

According to Jarkina, it is the fact that the artworks can be purchased for money raises suspicion in her that this could be akin to distribution of child pornography.

The lawyer said that she had received information that criminal proceedings have been initiated following the second paragraph of Article 166 of the Criminal Law on the circulation of material of a pornographic nature containing child pornography […] or the satisfaction of sexual desire in a violent manner. The police neither confirm nor deny the initiation of criminal proceedings at the moment.

Katrīna Jaunupe, head of the foundation Mākslai vajag telpu (Art Needs Space), believes that this case is absurd: “As long as it is not a blatant incitement to hatred or a call for violence or something, freedom of expression is unrestricted, as are creative works of an artist. It is a threat when criminal proceedings are being initiated on the creative manifestations of an artist, which are not a call for violence or incitement to hatred, while it is his creative freedom, which must not be limited.”

Artist Kristians Brekte himself wrote on Facebook: “I've never called for national or racial hatred or intolerance. Art directly shows how much freedom is in the country. If you're not free to express yourself in art, it means you're not free in other fields, either. Art is a barometer of what is happening, economically, politically, everything.” He also referred to a speech by the President of Latvia made in March 2021, claiming that the freedom of speech and art must not be restricted.

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“Art has a completely different task, it's not an ad, it's not an informative page that tells us something, it's not a school book, it's a whole different task, its job is to make you think, to shake people, to show the different potential consequences for anything,” said Jaunupe.


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