Berlin Police Investigate Legal Violations by Julian Charrière’s Coconut Cannon—and Diss It

The police department has offered a scathing criticism of the artwork. Ouch!

Image of authorities raiding the artist's studio and seizing the artwork. Image courtesy of the artist.

Berlin police have finally spoken out about the incident that made headlines in the Berlin arts community last week—the confiscation of an artist’s coconut cannon. The artwork was meant to be sent off to the first-ever edition of the Antarctic Biennale, a UNESCO project, on the day following the police raid.

In a wordy statement on the official Facebook page of the Berlin Police—titled “Fired coconut barely misses dog-owner”—the police department lays out their version of the story, explaining the violations that led to the confiscation of the artwork.

+++ Kokosnuss-Geschoss verfehlt nur knapp Hundehalter +++So skurril die nachfolgende Sache auch ist, es ist uns…

Posted by Polizei Berlin on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

They explain that on the evening of March 1, a dog owner alerted the authorities after he had—according to his own statement—almost been hit by a projectile while walking his dog in Berlin-Schöneberg.

The police were compelled to investigate and after assessing the structure of the five-meter cannon, the officers who arrived at the scene were immediately struck by its harmful potential. It is regrettable, the statement reads, that no security measures had been taken prior to the testing of the cannon outside the artist’s studio.

But that’s not all there is to the Facebook post. Fully aware of the bizarre headlines this incident has inspired, the police department offers its own evaluation of the artwork.

Two images of the steel-and-paper-maché piece are attached to the post, one with captions added by the police that read “Unter aller (Kokosnuss-) Kanone”a pun playing on the German slang saying “unter aller Kanone” which literally translates to (a nonsensical) “beneath all cannons” but basically means “really bad.” Ouch.

Posted by Polizei Berlin on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

All joking aside, police are now investigating the violations of the German arms legislation that this work might pose.

To be continued…

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