Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Austrian sculptor Hrdlicka dies aged 81

Alfred Hrdlicka
Hrdlicka was born in 1928 in Vienna and held his first exhibition in 1960

Provocative Austrian sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka has died aged 81, according to Austrian media reports.

One of his most famous works is a cast-iron sculpture of a prostrate figure covered in barbed wire, which is permanently on display in Vienna.

He sometimes caused controversy - Vienna's cardinal ordered the removal of one of his exhibitions from St Stephens Cathedral in 2008.

It depicted Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals at an orgy.

A staunch critic of war and fascism, an encounter with mentally ill people in the 1960s also had a profound influence on Hrdlicka's artistic work, and their suffering became a major theme in his work.

His other sculptures include The Death of a Demonstrator which sits in front of the German Opera in Berlin.



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