by Björn Schöpe
September 13, 2012 – When in summer coins insulting the king were found in Sweden the whole country wondered about their high quality and the rather obscure motive. Now the author and his motive have been disclosed: art.
Amateur artist Karl Fredrik Mattsson faced the public after having given an anonymous interview to a Swedish newspaper. Experts of the newspaper had detected by analyzing one of the coins how it had been done. Mattsson had worked in his free time using an authentic coin hollowing the obverse and inserting instead a new image of the king surrounded by the libelous legend. Probably, though, Mattsson feared the whistle might be blown on him shortly. Because before producing eight coins on his own he had contacted a mint that on its term declined to do this work but called the police. It is quite astonishing that over all the last months the police was not able to link this information with the eight odd coins.
Mattsson did not explain the artistic aspect of his action (‘I won’t explain why. I don’t think that it’s my responsibility as an amateur artist to explain art for someone’). Contrary to what was believed beforehand Mattsson rather than putting the coins in circulation sent them to friends and relatives since he was afraid otherwise the costly pieces might disappear without being spotted. The first person who declared to have detected such a coin was his own mother.
Since that moment speculations were being made about who might produce so perfect fakes and for what reason. Nobody had ever complained to the police neither because of forgery nor because of insults of the king who was labelled ‘whorer’ on the coins referring to his notorious sex scandals. Time will show whether the authorities will charge the artist. Anyway, he declares himself ready for any legal repercussions and, at the same time, disclaims he would only look for public interest in him. Indeed one asks oneself whether there are no simpler and less costly ways of doing so. Well, maybe someone might buy his coins – two specimens are exhibited in the National Museum of Economy in Stockholm, yet.
You can read an article of the new development on the website of the Swedish newspaper The Local.
To learn more about how it all began you may refer to our article here.