Geysir food dye artist found not guilty

An image of the famous incident last April.

An image of the famous incident last April. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Marco Evarist­ti

Marco Evaristti, the Chilean artist who controversially dyed Iceland’s iconic Strokkur hot spring pink last April, has been acquitted of criminal charges by an Icelandic court.

On the morning of 24 April last year, Evaristti poured five litres of red food colouring into the famous landmark in order to create a piece of ‘landscape art’, using the natural surroundings of the Geysir geothermal area as a canvas.

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The owner of the land subsequently pressed charges against Evaristti for offences under Icelandic conservation legislation. According to Evaristti, the substance used was entirely harmless to the natural environment.

Marco Evarist­ti.

Marco Evarist­ti. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Sigmundur Sigurgeirsson

The investigation established that Evaristti did indeed pour dye into Strokkur – a hot spring spouting every 6-8 minutes, and one of Iceland’s premier tourist attractions.

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It was also proved that the erupting pink water did make its way onto the ground and into puddles near the hot spring, with traces still visible in the afternoon of that day.

The South Iceland District Court ruled, however, that the specific provisions of the Icelandic conservation legislation which Evaristti was charged with infringing do not prohibit the artist’s actions sufficiently clearly to enable him to receive a punitive sentence.

Evaristti was therefore cleared of all charges.

MORE: Uproar as artist dyes geysir pink

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