The prominent climate change sceptic Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has complained to police after a tombstone engraved with his name was exhibited at Anglia Ruskin University.
Lord Monckton claims that the artwork – which features his name alongside those of other prominent sceptics such as Lord Lawson, the former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and journalist James Delingpole – amounts to a death threat.
The piece comprises a tombstone with the names of six sceptics chiselled under the words “Lest We Forget Those Who Denied”. A constant stream of engine oil runs over the memorial.
The exhibit won this year’s Anglia Ruskin Sustainability Art Prize for “bringing together a powerful message with a beautiful piece of art”, according to a university press release.
Viscount Monckton was far from impressed, saying the prize had been awarded by a “jumped-up polytechnic”.
He outlined his thoughts on the right-wing American website WorldNetDaily after visiting the exhibition “to gather evidence for the courts”.
“To put one’s name on a tombstone while one is still alive is to make a death threat, the nastiest and most repellent form of hate speech. The implication was that, if we were not already dead, the ‘artist’ and the ‘university’ that promoted his ‘work’ would very soon see to it that we were,” he wrote.
He went on to draw comparisons with the Third Reich.
“A death threat is a death threat. It is no laughing matter… It is plain that the long, relentless campaign of intimidation by the Nazis of their opponents, with name-calling and death threats very similar to that perpetrated by the ‘university’, was an essential part of the process,” he wrote.
In pictures: Changing climate around the world
In pictures: Changing climate around the world
Calved icebergs from the nearby Twin Glaciers are seen floating on the water in Qaqortoq, Greenland
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A boat navigates among calved icebergs from the nearby Twin Glaciers in Qaqortoq, Greenland. Boats are a crucial mode of transportation in the country that has few roads. As cities like Miami, New York and other vulnerable spots around the world strategize about how to respond to climate change, many Greenlanders simply do what theyve always done: adapt. 'Were used to change, said Greenlander Pilu Neilsen. 'We learn to adapt to whatever comes. If all the glaciers melt, well just get more land
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is seen after being inaugurated in Longyearbyen, Norway. The 'doomsday' seed vault built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters opened deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
A technician preparing to drain a vast underground lake at the Tete Rousse glacier on the Mont Blanc Alpine mountain, to avert a potentially disatrous flood. Some 65,000 cubic metres (2.3 million cubic feet) of water have gathered in a cavity, dangerously raising the pressure beneath the mountain, a favourite spot for holiday makers in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
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An aerial view of flooding in North Wagga Wagga. Climate change is amplifying risks from drought, floods, storm and rising seas, threatening all countries but small island states, poor nations and arid regions in particular, UN experts warned
Damages caused by a landslide on the Pan-American highway near La Moramulca, 55 Km south of Tegucigalpa. International highways have been washed out, villages isolated and thousands of families have lost homes and crops in a region that the United Nations has classified as one of the most affected by climate change
A resident sprays water on a peatland fire in Pekanbaru district in Riau province on Indonesia's Sumatra island. Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands, is one of the world's biggest carbon emitters because of rampant deforestation. US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday issued a clarion call for nations to do to more to combat climate change, calling it 'the world's largest weapon of mass destruction'
An excavator clearing a peatland forest area for a palm oil plantations in Trumon subdistrict, Aceh province, on Indonesia's Sumatra island. As Southeast Asia's largest economy grows rapidly, swathes of biodiverse forests across the archipelago of 17,000 islands have been cleared to make way for paper and palm oil plantations, as well as for mining and agriculture. The destruction has ravaged biodiversity, placing animals such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers in danger of extinction, while also leading to the release of vast amounts of climate change-causing carbon dioxide
Stagnant rain water with tannery waste make the Hazaribagh area in Old Dhaka as well as Buriganga River the most polluted. Each year during the seven-month long dry season between October and April the Buriganga River becomes totally stagnant with its upstream region drying up and becoming polluted from toxic waste from city industries
Waste water from Dhaka city drained to the River Buriganga contributes to its pollutions. On the World Water Day observed in 2007 under the theme Coping with Water Scarcity, under the leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, DrikNEWS explores some of the images of the river. UN-Water has identified coping with water scarcity as part of the strategic issues and priorities requiring joint UN action. The theme highlights the significance of cooperation and importance of an integrated approach to water resource management of water at international, national and local levels
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Lord Monckton also took issue with the vice-chancellor of the university for painting him as a climate change “denier”.
“It mattered not to the vice-chancellor, nor to the “artist”, that I do not deny the existence of climate change… I do not even deny that man may have some as yet unquantified but probably insignificant and even net-beneficial influence on the climate,” he said.
A spokesman for the viscount said that a complaint had been made to police about the university press release, which he says reinforced the representation of the death threat in the art work.
The work is by third year BA fine art student Ian Wolter, who lives in Saffron Walden. He told The Independent that the viscount’s reaction was “nonsense”.
“I don’t think any reasonable person would think of my plywood sculpture as a death threat,” he said, adding: “His extreme reaction is a great example of the power of political art.”
A spokesman for the university declined to comment.Reuse content