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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 January, 2004, 13:54 GMT
Israeli envoy wrecks art exhibit
Swedish artists Gunilla Skoeld Feiler (L) and Israeli-born Dror Feiler with their restored art installation, called Snow White
Israeli-born artist Dror Feiler (r): Mazel "tried to stop free speech"
Sweden's foreign ministry wants an explanation from the Israeli ambassador after he vandalised an artwork depicting a Palestinian suicide bomber.

Zvi Mazel was expelled from Stockholm's Museum of Antiquities on Friday after he threw a spotlight at the exhibit, called "Snow White".

He denounced the work as "obscene" and a "monstrosity", saying it insulted the victims' families.

It depicted a woman bomber who killed herself and 19 Israelis in Haifa.

A photo of the smiling woman, 29-year-old trainee lawyer Hanadi Jaradat, appeared as the sail on a boat in a basin filled with red water.

She carried out her attack at the beachfront Maxim's restaurant in October - one of the bloodiest in a series of suicide bombings by Palestinian militants.

The ambassador's protest occurred at the opening on Friday of the "Making Differences" exhibition - part of a forthcoming international anti-genocide conference hosted by the Swedish Government and to which Israel has been invited.

"We will contact him on Monday to arrange a meeting," said a Swedish foreign ministry spokeswoman, quoted by the AFP news agency.

"We want to give him a chance to explain himself. We feel that it is unacceptable for him to destroy art in this way."

The ambassador was quoted as saying he found the exhibit "intolerable and an insult to the families of the victims".

"As ambassador of Israel I could not remain indifferent to such an obscene misrepresentation of reality," he said.

One of the two artists who created the work, Israeli-born Dror Feiler, said Ambassador Mazel had "tried to stop free speech and free artistic expression from being carried out in Sweden".

"He said he was ashamed that I was a Jew," Mr Feiler said, adding: "We see this as an offensive assault on our right to express our thoughts and feelings."

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