Channel 4: British TV broadcaster buys painting of Hitler - and lets viewers decide whether it should be destroyed

The question of whether art can be separated from its artist is a subject of constant debate.

Channel 4: British TV broadcaster buys painting of Hitler - and lets viewers decide whether it should be destroyed

The question of whether art can be separated from its artist is a subject of constant debate. In order to finally answer them, the British TV station Channel 4 is launching a new format: "Jimmy Carr Destroys Art" (in German: "Jimmy Carr destroys art").

Artwork was bought for the show by a number of "problematic" artists, including Pablo Picasso, convicted pedophile Rolf Harris and sex offender Eric Gill - and Adolf Hitler. Ian Katz, Channel 4's program director, says of the program's concept: "For every work of art there are advocates. So there is an advocate for Hitler [...] who argues not for Hitler but for the fact that his moral character is not should decide whether a work of art exists or not." It is then up to the studio audience to decide whether or not presenter Jimmy Carr should destroy the works.

A flamethrower is sometimes available to destroy the works of art. However, this should not be used for Hitler's work, as the broadcaster makes clear. If the public decides not to let Hitler destroy the painting, that would be no reason for Katz to hang it up in Channel 4 studio corridors, for example. Instead, it should be disposed of "appropriately".

The British broadcaster had commissioned an art expert in advance to buy the works "from reputable auction houses", although there have always been doubts about the authenticity of Hitler's works of art in the past. Given the channel's budget, the Picasso work is more "a vase of some kind" than one of his paintings.

Katz thinks "Jimmy Carr Destroy's Art" celebrates Channel 4's long tradition of "iconoclasm and ruthlessness" — alluding to the channel's past having aired autopsies and drugged people live on TV. Jimmy Carr Destroy's Art is scheduled to air later this month.

Sources: The Guardian, ntv

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