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France adopts art protection law
– why you will never see this in the Netherlands
by drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou
(c) 2016 all rights reserved

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this blog article is not intended as legal advice. If you need a lawyer, please stop reading this blog right now.

Why would a country like France adopt a law specifically protecting art? Not just because of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. First, because there are people like this in the world who physically want to vandalize works of art as a proxy for the artist themselves.  Then there are people who attack artists themselves. As in the case of the Pim Fortuyn assassination, these people are often animal rights zealots. The controversial Belgian body-artist Jeroen Farbe was beaten up in a park by seven animal rights kooks dressed up as furry animals with baseball bats for using live cats at one of his performances. In a move typical of the animal rights movement, false rumours were spread within Belgium and beyond suggesting the artist was hanging live cats from meat-hooks at his show, when nothing of the sort ever happened, and all cats were perfectly alive after the performance. The Dutch artist Katinka Simonse was threatened by the animal rights contingent for creating an artwork for which she euthanized and taxidermied her sick cat, turning it into a bag modelled after a brand of plush toys popular in the 1980s, the Popples. There has to be a law specifically protecting art because the animal rights movement wants to censor art involving animals by any means, including outright violence and physical assaults against artists as in the case of Fabre. But more often, the book-burners and censors of the 21st century come dressed in a lawyer’s gown. I openly venture the opinion that the iconoclasm committed against works of art by lawyers, judges and public prosecutors in the West is far greater and more severe than the one by Islamic State tearing down museum pieces, ruins and ancient sites. You can destroy a piece of art with the hammer of ISIL, or with the hammer of a Western judge who assumes himself an enlightened person in favour of free speech.

As the song says:

The Netherlands could have adopted a special law protecting artistic freedom of speech after the Pim Fortuyn assassination, they didn’t…
The Netherlands could have protected artistic freedom of speech after the Theo van Gogh assassination, who after all was an artist who was targeted for his art, they didn’t…

This new French law intentionally protecting art is literally unthinkable and unimaginable in the fascist censorship and libel-tourism police-state that is the Netherlands, where book after book was banned in civil court last year, an activist was arrested for saying “Fuck the king, fuck the queen, fuck racism” at a protest, and some silly cartoonish white rapper was arrested at a show for asking his audience to shout “raise the middle finger to the police” as is customary at rap shows. Earlier in the year the same rapper was beaten up in Amsterdam after insulting a young girl.  Tellingly, the story about the rapper getting his ass whooped in Amsterdam was broken by a Dutch blog that was also once targeted by the same legal firm that went on to target yours truly. It’s really funny how things go around in circles in a little piece of shit country like The Netherlands where everyone seemingly bumps into eachother after a while for having the same lawyers involved with the same cases. I don’t know why this firm went from SLAPPing free speech and trying to jail people over speech issues to defending a rapper’s speech… maybe these lawyers just happen to enjoy rap music such as this? I am not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, assume they saw the light and switched sides. I suspect that for such legal firms that specialize in SLAPP-suits the occasional defending of speech is merely a dress-rehearsal or RPG exercize so they can better censor little people like me, people with no resources to defend themselves against these powerful legal firms. The existence of such legal firms targeting artists with no resources to fight a SLAPP-suit or to defend themselves against a wrongful conviction is another reason for having a law intentionally protecting art like France now does.

Quoting from ArtForum in an article about this new French law that is beyond Dutch comprehension, we learn:

The new law states that “artistic creation is free” and that it is the government’s responsibility to protect the freedom of artistic expression and dissemination. Summing up the potentially prickly legal language, Minister of Culture and Communication Fleur Pellerin said, “We must must ensure that art can continue to disturb.”

http://artforum.com/newsletter/link.php?M=949551&N=628&L=4739&F=H

What can I say, I’m glad a bunch of French law-makers were willing to articulate the bleeding fucking obvious to their lawyers, prosecutors and judges :\ Dutch lawmakers don’t give a rat’s ass about freedom of speech and are perfectly happy to sit back and let speech-hostile judges issue one censorship-friendly verdict after another in various SLAPP-suits. Why? Because Holland is competing with the UK as to which of the two countries will have the most fascist, censorious and speech-hostile laws and jurisprudence and hence the most accomodating libel-tourism regime. I am glad France with their new art law basically went ahead and said the proverbial “fuck you” to both The Netherlands and the UK, “fuck you two and your silly libel tourism pissing match, unlike you two we in France are not going to throw our artists under the bus so that lawyers can make money from SLAPP-suits censoring artists, instead we will change our law to protect them.”.

Sources used:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Pim_Fortuyn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_%28film_director%29#Murder

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkert_van_der_Graaf

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20121101_00355199

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/20/online-anonymity-death-threats

http://www.24oranges.nl/2015/04/16/rabobank-kills-book-containing-accusations-of-art-theft/

http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2015/04/10/rechter-boek-over-rabobank-moet-vernietigd-worden/

Activist prosecuted over “fuck the king” statements

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/07/dutch-activist-faces-jail-for-royal-insult-under-19th-century-law

http://nos.nl/op3/artikel/2055042-lil-kleine-opgepakt-in-hilversum.html

Girls storm police station after rapper Lil’Kleine’s arrest

This isn’t the first time Lil Kleine asked is audience to perform what we shall now call the middle-finger salute. This salute had become a recurring onstage gesture preceding the song “Liegen Voor De Rechter” (“Lying before the Judge”, possibly another song the lawyers representing this rapper enjoyed at the office?). During the Lowlands Festival the rapper had asked his audience to do exactly the same thing – but no arrest followed that gig.

http://www.dafne.com/news/lil-kleine-arrested/

http://www.geenstijl.nl/mt/archieven/2015/06/video_rapper_lil_kleine_krijgt.html

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