Artist to project sculpture filled with Afghan blood on St Paul’s in protest over Harry’s Taliban kills claim

The Duke of Sussex attracted criticism after he detailed his time serving in Afghanistan in his memoir Spare earlier this year, claiming he killed 25 Taliban fighters during two tours in the country

Kate Plummer
Monday 27 March 2023 14:57 BST
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Ben Wallace accuses Prince Harry of 'boasting' about Taliban kill-count

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An artist says he plans on projecting a sculpture made using Afghan blood onto St Paul’s Cathedral, to protest Prince Harry’s claims about the number of soldiers he killed while serving in the military.

Russian artist Andrei Molodkin said he will take blood donated by Afghans for the sculpture and project it onto the London landmark later this week, saying the royal’s comments had made him “very, very angry”.

The Duke of Sussex attracted criticism after he detailed his time serving in Afghanistan in his memoir Spare earlier this year, claiming he killed 25 Taliban fighters during two tours in the country.

‘Putin filled with blood’ is one of Andrei Molodkin’s previous works
‘Putin filled with blood’ is one of Andrei Molodkin’s previous works (Courtesy The Foundry)

“So, my number: Twenty-five,” the royal wrote. “It wasn’t a number that gave me any satisfaction. But neither was it a number that made me feel ashamed.

“Naturally, I’d have preferred not to have that number on my military CV, on my mind, but by the same token, I’d have preferred to live in a world in which there was no Taliban, a world without war.”

“While in the heat and fog of combat, I didn’t think of those twenty-five as people,” he added. “You can’t kill people if you think of them as people. You can’t really harm people if you think of them as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bads taken away before they could kill Goods.”

Mr Molodkin told Sky News Harry’s remarks had made him “very, very angry” and the idea of his project “is to drench St Paul’s Cathedral in the blood of Afghani people”.

“They read they are just ‘chess figures’... for some prince hunting by helicopter,” he said. “It looked like a safari situation. How he told it, for him it’s like a computer game.”

The artist at work in his studio
The artist at work in his studio (Courtesy The Foundry)

The artist, known for making a sculpture featuring an image of Vladimir Putin filled with blood donated by Ukrainian fighters last year, said four Afghans in Calais had already given blood for the sculpture and that another five Afghans in the UK will make donations for the artwork.

A total of 1,250ml of blood will be used for the artwork, he said, which will be “pumped” into the sculpture of the royal coat of arms after being taken from donors by a registered nurse.

Prince Harry faced widespread criticism for discussing his time in Afghanistan in his book Spare
Prince Harry faced widespread criticism for discussing his time in Afghanistan in his book Spare

Explaining how the project will work, he said: “Blood will go in the royal coat of arms, it will circulate in there.

“It will be projected... onto the cathedral - so all the cathedral will be in the blood of Afghani people.”

Mr Moldokin said a video featuring Prince Harry will also be projected onto the cathedral.

Two-thirds of Britons think Prince Harry damaged national security with his revelation, exclusive polling for The Independent in January found.

His comments were also criticised by defence secretary Ben Wallace who accused him of “boasting” and other veterans.

But in an appearance on The Late Show, the Duke said claims he ‘boasted’ about the number of people he killed “a dangerous lie”.

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