Swedish police on Tuesday responded to a bomb threat at a Stockholm museum that is caught up in a racial scandal involving the country’s minister of culture.
Authorities said the Moderna Museet was evacuated after officers in the southern city of Malmo received the threat, and a bomb squad was dispatched to the museum, The Associated Press reported.
Sweden\'s minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, has come under fire for attending a party at the museum featuring a large cake depicting a naked African woman.
An actor in minstrel-style blackface served as the cake’s head and screamed in mock pain while guests carved slices from the pastry\'s nude torso, videos from the event showed.
The cake — one of many edible “art installations” at the event — was reportedly meant to highlight the issue of female circumcision, Sweden’s English-language newspaper The Local reported.
It wasn’t clear whether the bomb threat was related to the brewing cake scandal.
A photo in Swedish newspaper Fria Tider on Tuesday showed Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth smiling and laughing while presiding over the dessert.
Members of Stockholm\'s cultural elite appeared in the background, gleefully snapping photos, the newspaper reported.
The Local said that the event was held at the museum on April 15 in connection with World Art Day.
Critics slammed the scene as a racist spectacle and called for Liljeroth’s resignation.
“In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden,” Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association, told The Local.
“Her participation, as she laughs, drinks and eats cake, merely adds to the insult against people who suffer from racist taunts and against women affected by circumcision,” he said, adding that the event had \"cannibalistic\" overtones.
Liljeroth, well-known in Sweden for fighting against racism, downplayed the incident, saying her appearance at the event was merely ceremonial.
“I understand quite well that this is provocative and that it was a rather bizarre situation,” she said. \"I was invited to speak at World Art Day about art’s freedom and the right to provoke. And then they wanted me to cut the cake.”
Earlier Tuesday, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto visited the museum during a state visit.
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