The ongoing saga of Odd Nerdrum‘s battle with the Norwegian tax authorities has progressed further, with him being granted a new trial in the Court of Appeal. Because his prison sentence was less than six years, the probability of being granted an appeal in Norway is incredibly low. Thus, the choice to overturn the sentence requires serious concerns about the district court’s verdict. The appeals court stated that it specifically wanted to review questions over a sum of $300,000 taxed in Iceland in 2003, as well as to re-consider Nerdrum‘s explanation that this fiasco began due to some 40 paintings that had melted due to experimental techniques.
Nedrum’s defense lawyer, Tor Erling Staff, told the Norwegian paper Aftenposten that the appeal of verdict is because it has been arrived at via a selective choice of information and that not all issues have been discussed. “My impression is that the district court thinks Nerdrum lacks credibility and instead must prove his innocence,” said Staff.
Odd Nerdrum is furious with the court because a prison sentence means he will loose his American visa. “Two years in prison and I lose my visa to the United States. Now I cannot be a guest teacher at Maryland Institute College of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art or New York Academy of Art“, says Nerdrum. Current laws would also forbid Nerdrum from painting in jail.
The artist has stated in the press that it feels like the Norwegian government is executing a vendetta against him.
Nerdrum is awaitng the date of the appeal at his chateau, situated in Maisons-Lafitte, a fashionable suburb outside Paris. The estate is registered to his wife, and was recently purchased by her company. It is intended to be used as a family house, with ample room for Nerdrum’s pupils.