"Carl Michael von Hausswolff mixed the ashes from the infamous Nazi facility with water to compose a small painting of grey streaks. The work now hangs in a gallery in the Swedish city of Lund.
But Salomon Schulman, a leading voice in Sweden's Jewish community who lost many relatives to the Holocaust, has condemned the painting as "revolting".
Who knows," he wrote in a letter to a local newspaper. "Maybe some of the ashes originated from my relatives. No one knows where they were deported: all my mother's siblings and their children, and my grandparents."
Those ashes were people. There are still people on the planet related closely enough to these victims that this act should give you pause. These were people wiped out because of what they believed, not because of anything they did. On my grandmother's side, we had family in Germany who died horrifically in this way. What if these were your great grandmothers ashes Michael? Would you personally be okay with this? The fact that I am hearing of this the weekend of Hanukkah starting makes it worse.
I get he was trying to make art. My daughter is an artist. However, art is not a free license to do anything you want in the name of itself.
I have one caveat to this though. If Michael had gotten the ashes from a specific family, and they signed off on it, then I would be okay with this. Because he skulked around, knowing no permissions would be given, and defied the laws of the countries he was visiting, he should be held to account. Not for the art mind you, although we should probably talk about that, but because, "the rules did nor apply to him".