Geyser ‘vandal’ artist: “I have done nothing wrong”
The South American artist who controversially dyed Iceland’s iconic Strokkur hot spring pink last April is back in the country to appear in court.
“To my mind, I have done nothing wrong,” says Marco Antonio Evaristti, whose artistic endeavours with Icelandic nature landed him in hot water last year.
Evaristti was originally charged with causing damage to the environment, but after it emerged that the substance used to dye the water was harmless food colouring, the charges were changed to ‘disruption to geological formations and ecosystems’.
The court case begins today and Evaristti is on a flying visit to Iceland to answer questions in court.
He was originally fined €150 for his actions – a fine which he has never paid. “I have done nothing wrong,” he maintains. “I don’t know what will happen if I lose this case.”
“I am accused of damaging Iceland’s natural appearance – but this is hypocrisy,” Evaristti says. “Icelanders do the same every single day, for instance, by using machines – such as cars – which pump carbon dioxide into the air.”
“I am here to appear in court and fight for my freedom of expression as an artist,” he has declared.
He also points out that a similar artistic work by Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson – who dyed a river fork in the Icelandic highlands with organic colourants – hardly raised an eyebrow.
“It has been demonstrated that the colourant I used contained no toxic substances and that all the colour disappeared with no negative impact on the environment,” Evaristti says.