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X-Ray Artist Irks Swedish Authorities

March 6, 2003

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ An exhibit of X-ray photos taken by airport security equipment has irked Swedish aviation authorities who say workers should not have breached security guidelines _ even for the sake of art.

The display, which opens Saturday in a gallery in Stockholm, features 13 X-ray photographs of a gun, a champagne bottle, various accessories and the artist herself.

The 28-year-old Swede, who calls herself Maloosak, said police and security at a small airport in northern Sweden helped her take pictures on their X-ray machine last year and even lent her the gun.

``They thought it was a great idea. They gave me free rein,″ Maloosak told The Associated Press.

Maloosak said she managed to slide 13 objects, including herself, through the machine before the airport’s director stopped the photo session.

``We don’t have anything against art,″ Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Lars Roehne said. ``But it’s not acceptable that our employees allow artists or other unauthorized persons into these areas.″

Roehne said the security officers involved were reprimanded but kept their jobs. Both he and Maloosak declined to name the airport. He said the authority didn’t try to stop the exhibit but denied Maloosak’s requests to take more pictures.

The artist said she didn’t mean to stir controversy with her work, which she called a way of ``piercing through the surface and right through the soul.″

Maloosak even sent an invitation to the gallery opening to Lars Rekke, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority.

``He’s thinking about it,″ Roehne said.

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