Yesterday, the South Iceland District Court acquitted the Danish-Chilean artist Marco Antonio Evaristti, who had been charged with breaking nature protection laws for pouring red dye into the geyser Strokkur last year, mbl.is reports.
Evaristti was acquitted partly because the clause of the law he was accused of breaking was not believed to fulfill requirements for clarity of authorization for punishment. A landowner of the geyser area had filed charges against Evaristti.
The incident took place on April 24 last year. As a result of the dye having been poured in, Strokkur erupted with a pink plume, coloring puddles and rocks nearby. The color remained in the area for quite a while.
A lawsuit was filed against Evaristti in November of last year. He insisted he had not broken any law. He described the incident as a happening, an artistic event or landscape art, saying he had used the landscape as a canvas for his work. His goal had been, he claimed, to take care of the environment and nature, to create beautiful art, by using a dye that was perfectly harmless to nature.
Evaristti was found to have poured five liters of red dye into Strokkur, and the color was known to have been present in surrounding areas afterwards. The law, however, did not fulfill requirements needed for clarity of authorization for punishment and, thus, the artist was acquitted.