Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Sweden train 'vandalised for art'

The university said it was not clear if the student had been the vandal

Stockholm's transport authority (SL) has demanded compensation from an arts college after a student was involved in an act of vandalism on a metro train.

SL Chairman Christer Wennerholm said the authority intended to seek 100,000 kronor ($11,500; 8,000) in damages.

Passengers on the metro were terrified when a masked man spray-painted graffiti inside, smashed a window and jumped through it onto the platform.

The rampage was filmed and later appeared as part of an art thesis.

The two-minute video entitled Territorial Pissing was submitted to the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) by master's degree student Magnugs Nugstafsson.

I do not think that vandalism is art
Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth
Swedish Culture Minister

"My ambition is to take my personal experience and relation with graffiti into new media and environments, without losing the energy of traditional graffiti bombing," the student said on the university's website.

"Graffiti is often blamed for being just simple territorial pissing, so that's what I'm trying to express by working with more elements than just traditional graffiti letters in its traditional context," he added.

The university said it did not allow students to break the law, but added it was not clear whether the student participated in the vandalism or merely recorded it.

Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth expressed outrage at the film after watching it on Saturday.

"I do not think that vandalism is art. And I presume that Konstfack does not intend to pay for the train car," she said.

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