WOTAN CITY, LAD. — Fire lit up the Ladonian sky on 24 November as the Tower of the Winds was completely consumed by flames. The fire could be seen from Sweden. Swedish police and firefighters were dispatched to help contain the flames but were limited in options due to the remote location. As Nimis can not be accessed by fire trucks, only handheld fire extinguishers and seawater could be used to douse the flames.
The biggest concern was that the fire would spread to the nearby trees and cause a forest fire in the nature reserve. The fire had burned itself out before morning leaving nothing but charred nails where the Tower of the Winds once stood, and roughly 1/4 of Nimis destroyed.
Inspectors declared that the 75% of Nimis that remains is sturdy and not a danger to visitors.
Harsh art criticism.
This fire is not the first time that arsonists have tried to destroy Nimis. This is the 4th attempt in the last 15 years to burn Nimis down, though this appears to be the most successful attempt yet. Lars Vilks, the creator of the 75 ton driftwood sculpture and controversial artist, called the attack “a rather brutal form of art critique.”
Vilks told TheLocal.se that the destruction of the sculpture was all part of the art.
“I have my motto ‘everything is an advantage’. You always have to find something optimistic and art that’s subjected to violence always benefits from it, you have to comfort yourself with that,” he said.
Fire intentionally set.
The Swedish police believe that the fire is arson. An investigation of suspected arson began immediately, says Lars Scotte of rescue operations. Fredrik Bratt at police control told SVT News Helsingborg that this was classified as arson because it involves something of major economic and cultural value. Bratt added that there were no explicit threats ever received against the artwork itself.
Vilks also believes this to be the work of a particularly “skilled” arsonist, “you must have a lot of gasoline to set fire to Nimis. It burns not as easy as you think.It must be properly skilled stokers.”
The artwork was cordoned off during the late evening and forensics technicians are treating Nimis as a crime scene.
At least one online media outlet has suggested that the attack on Nimis might be related to the “pyro-terror” attacks in Israel. The Ladonian Ministry of Information has issued a statement reiterating that there have been no claims of responsibility for this attack, and there is no evidence or indication that this was related to anything specific.
Ladonia will rebuild.
While Vilks is generally unable to visit Nimis to work on its reconstruction, the Minister of Art and Jump and other volunteers will begin the task of rebuilding as soon as weather permits.
“While the fire has certainly damaged Nimis more than the hurricane did 2 years ago, this is not an insurmountable challenge. Nimis will be repaired, and grow to be even larger than before… rising like a Phoenix from the ashes,” said the Queen in a statement released via Facebook on Friday morning. “The outpouring of support and offers for assistance have been overwhelming. We are grateful that no one was injured by the fire, and we are appreciative of the support from the Ladonian diaspora and from the surrounding communities.”