Ladonia (micronation)

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Motto: Suum Cuique
Status Current
Capital Wotan City[1]

Ladonia (Swedish: Ladonien) is a micronation, proclaimed in 1996 as the result of a years-long court battle between artist Lars Vilks and local authorities over two sculptures. The claimed territory is part of the natural reserve Kullaberg in an enclave of southern Sweden. It has achieved recognition from a number of other micronations and Denmark.[7]

History

In 1980, artist Dr. Lars Vilks began construction of two sculptures, Nimis (Latin for "too much", a structure made of 75 tonnes of driftwood) and Arx (Latin for "fortress", a structure made of stone), in the Kullaberg nature reserve in north-west Skåne, Sweden. The location of the sculptures is difficult to reach, and as a consequence they were not discovered for two years, at which point the local council declared the sculptures to be buildings, the construction of which was forbidden on the nature reserve, and demanded that they should be dismantled and removed.

Nimis
Arx

Vilks appealed the decision of the council, but lost. He appealed repeatedly, and finally the case was settled, in the council's favour, by the Swedish government. However, in the meantime Nimis had been bought from Vilks by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude after the death of Joseph Beuys, who bought it in 1984. In 1996 Vilks declared the micronation of Ladonia in protest of the local council.[citation needed]

In 1999, another sculpture, Omphalos (named after Omphalos, a small sculpture in the temple at Delphi, "marking the centre of the world"), was created. It was made of stone and concrete, 1.61 metres high and weighing a tonne. The Gyllenstiernska Krapperup Foundation, formed to promote art and culture, accused Vilks of building this sculpture and complained to the police, and in August 1999 the district court ordered its removal. The Foundation had also demanded the removal of Nimis and Arx, but the court ruled against it. The Foundation appealed this decision to the Supreme Court, who eventually ruled against it. The police were unable to positively identify Vilks as the sculptor, but the district court held that he was.

The removal of Omphalos was itself controversial. Vilks was ordered to find an acceptable way to remove the sculpture. He proposed blowing it up on 10 December 2001, Nobel Day and the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize, and applied to the county council for permission to do so. The county council made a decision on 7 December, but kept it secret until 10 December. By that time, another artist, Ernst Billgren, had bought Omphalos from Vilks, and had requested that it not be damaged. In the early hours of 9 December, a crane boat was sent (by DYKMA, under contract from the Enforcement Administration) to the site and removed the sculpture (at a cost of SEK 92,500, billed to Vilks). Despite the new owner's request, the sculpture was damaged by handling. In response to this, the Enforcement Administration was satirically declared to be "Performance Artist of the Year" in 2002.

Afterwards, Vilks applied to the county council again, this time for permission to erect a memorial in the place that Omphalos had stood. Permission was granted by the council to erect a monument no greater than 8 centimetres high. This was duly done, and the monument was inaugurated on 27 February 2002.

In July 2006, a satire web site of "the Armed Coalition Forces of the Internets" (ACFI) declared war on the micronation claiming that the government has not recognized the citizens' rights of internet and piracy.[8]

Population and citizenry

Queen Carolyn of Ladonia immediately after her coronation. 19 Sept 2011

When it was created, Ladonia had a population of zero. As of 2011, there are 15,567 Ladonian citizens from more than 50 countries. None of the citizens reside within Ladonia's borders,[9] although there has been at least one resident citizen in the past.[10]

The government of Ladonia is jointly led by a Queen and a President. The President and Vice-President are elected tri-annually, while the Queen, once crowned, reigns for life. The current President is Christopher Matheoss of the Party Monarchical Republic and the current Vice-President is Lieutenant Colonel His Illustrious Highness Osborne Wrigley-Pimley-McKerr III, Count Wrigley of Håle.[11] Vilks, the State Secretary, performs or oversees many of the day-to-day operations of the micronation, including processing new citizenship applications and posting photos and news items to the Ladonian online "newspaper". The Cabinet Ministers are the legislative body in Ladonia, and they participate in debates and vote on proposals via the Internet. Many Ladonian ministries have artistic connotations and whimsical names.[12]

Nimis

Nimis is a series of wooden sculptures situated along the coast in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve, Höganäs Municipality, in the northern part of Skåne County, Sweden. They are a massive, wooden labyrinthine structure connected by several wooden towers, and are said to be mostly constructed from driftwood.

They were begun by the artist Professor Lars Vilks in 1980 and have been the subject of a long-running legal dispute between the Swedish authorities and the artist. As no permission was given to build on the site within the nature reserve, the County Administrative Board in Skåne has sought to have Nimis demolished, despite the fact that it has become a popular tourist attraction.

As Nimis' existence is not sanctioned by the state, it is difficult to find - there are no official sign posts, nor is it marked on maps. It lies a few kilometres northwest of the town of Arild and somewhat farther from the town of Mölle, and can only be reached on foot following a well-worn path with yellow Ns painted on trees and fences. The path begins as an easy stroll past Himmelstorp, a well-preserved eighteenth-century farmstead, but quickly becomes a steep and rocky climb down to the coast.

Nimis as seen from the bay

Notes

  1. ^ A PDF on Ladonia
  2. ^ Flag of Ladonia.svg
    The flag features a nordic cross which normally isn’t visible.
  3. ^ There are two national anthems. One is composed by Greve Jan Lothe von Eriksen and is executed when a stone is thrown into the water. The other is composed by the Minister of Health and can be described as a tone poem on the development of Ladonian freedom.
  4. ^ “New Herald” Ladonia 2008 report
  5. ^ http://books.google.com.pk/books?id=5ZRrwrlIPSYC&pg=PT74&lpg=PT74&dq=german+danish+swedish+%22ladonia%22&source=bl&ots=GqtfoMp3EX&sig=e9h302Gk3W6ZRKexNxY7RVdqeDg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8VffUaycNoOs4ATF74C4Aw&redir_esc=y
  6. ^ 1 Örtug is about 10 SEK.
  7. ^ http://www.muu.fi/amorph03/downloads/pdfs/ladonia.pdf
  8. ^ "Implode Ladonia". Web site of the Armed Coalition Forces of the Internets. Retrieved 2006-08-17.
  9. ^ Ladonia's population chart on www.ladonia.org
  10. ^ http://www.ladoniaherald.com/2009/president-election-candidates
  11. ^ http://www.ladoniaherald.com/2013/the-result-of-the-election
  12. ^ "The Constitution of Ladonia". The New Herald. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)

References

External links

Coordinates: 56°17′16″N 12°32′22″E / 56.28778°N 12.53944°E / 56.28778; 12.53944