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Salazar's grave covered with "anti-fascist probiotic"

© Bordallo II | Instagram

The Portuguese artist Bordallo II has covered the grave of former dictator António Oliveira Salazar, in the cemetery of Vimieiro, Santa Comba Dão, with a giant "anti-fascist" medicine box.

"Liberdade", as Bordallo II calls the medicine, is an "anti-fascist probiotic" of "25 mg" and with "50 capsules", in reference to the 25 April Revolution and the 50 Chega deputies, elected by the Portuguese on March 10, who are now part of the Assembly of the Republic.

In the images released by the artist himself, it is possible to see the Portuguese dictator's grave covered by the installation, which has a red carnation drawn on it. "If we don't take care of our democracy, it will end up buried," argued Bordalo II, who also shared short videos showing two people removing a box from a van and transporting it to the grave, clearly identified as Salazar's, which is filmed so that it can be recognised unequivocally.

"For some reason, those who have tyrannical and anti-democratic ambitions begin precisely by attacking freedom – this complex concept that crosses several areas of our lives and without which we will not have a fair society. Freedom is fundamental for each of us and for the well-being of all", the artist begins by writing in a post shared on his Instagram account, adding that "we cannot be distracted and take freedom for granted".

"On the contrary, we have to defend it and exercise it every day. April 25th also serves to remind us of this! Defending freedom means respecting differences, demanding universal fundamental rights, and allowing the expression of free thought and creativity. Art must also be free, it must be able to question, provoke, and provide a starting point for reflection", he highlights before ending with "April 25th ALWAYS, fascism never again".

Artur Bordalo is known for artistic installations marked by social criticism and controversy, such as the "walkway of shame", made up of 500 euro notes, placed in front of the main altar at World Youth Day. In July last year, he argued that his aim was to criticise WYD spending in a secular state where people face financial difficulties.

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