King Frederik V Bust in Copenhagen


By Contested Histories Initiative

In autumn 2020 a bust of the 18th century King of Denmark and Norway Frederik V mysteriously disappeared from its pedestal at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. It was later found to have been thrown into the canals of Copenhagen in a filmed protest by a group of artists seeking to raise awareness of Denmark’s overlooked colonial history. The head of the Art Academy department took full responsibility for the incident and her employment was terminated the same day. This case study looks at the response of the Academy and Danish Society to one of the first controversies to arise over the country’s colonial history and the powerful role art can play as a form of protest. 

For the case study click here.