Swedish artist Lars Vilks died last Sunday after an accident between his car and a truck. The cause of the accident that caused the death of the controversial artist remains to be determined.
Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist, died in a car accident, according to several Swedish media. The artist has lived under police protection since 2007 when he caricatured the prophet Mohammed, which led to threats to his life. By the way, Vilks was traveling in an unidentified police car, which was also traveling by two police officers, when a lorry collided with them and caught fire on Sunday afternoon in Markaryd, Swedish news agency TT reported. The truck driver was taken to hospital, and the accident is under investigation, says the Guardian.
Since then, Vilks has been the target of numerous attacks and threats. One of the Al Quaeda factions put its head to a prize, offering a value of 100,000 dollars, about 86,000 euros, to whoever murdered the artist in 2007.
In 2010, several Swedish newspapers republished the controversial cartoon after two Muslim men were arrested and accused of a plot to try to kill Vilks in the Republic of Ireland. The Swede again received several death threats and has been under police protection ever since.
An American woman, self-styled Jihadist Jane, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for planning the murder of Vilks in 2013.
Vilks was present at the 2015 Copenhagen terrorist attacks: the artist was speaking at an event on freedom of expression, in a cafe, when an Islamic terrorist opened fire on those present, killing a film director, and injuring three police officers. Then he went to a synagogue, where he ended up killing a volunteer guard.
Lars Vilks’ committee presented its freedom prize to Charlie Hebdo magazine in January 2015, three months before the terrorist attack on the magazine’s Paris office, sparked by a controversial cartoon depicting Muhammad, saying: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter”.
Vilks said that after the attack on the French magazine, he was invited to fewer and fewer events due to security concerns.
In his home country, the artist was known for a wooden sculpture in a nature reserve in southern Sweden that he built without permission, which sparked a long legal battle. Although Lars was fined, the wood carving has remained in place and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.