An artist who soaked copies of Prince Harry’s memoir in human blood says he has sold some for five-figure sums – and is planning a further protest on the day of the King’s coronation.
Andrei Molodkin covered 25 copies of Spare in blood donated by Afghan people following the Duke of Sussex’s controversial remarks about his number of kills in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the dissident Russian artist said the blood-smeared books went on display in Kennington, London, this week and seven copies have now been sold – each for at least $10,000 (£8,000).
Fabien Nordmann, a long-time fan of Molodkin’s work, told Sky News he had agreed to pay more than the asking price as he wanted to secure "one of the first editions".
"He’s a visionary," Mr Nordmann said of Molodkin.
"He told me the price was $10,000 and I said: ‘What about to get the number 1 or 2?’"
Mr Nordmann, who lives in Paris and is currently working in the Ivory Coast, said he is yet to receive his blood-covered copy of Spare but will make arrangements to collect it when he returns to the French capital later this month.
The 77-year-old said he was not disturbed by Molodkin’s use of blood, saying it was "to shock" but insisting it was "less shocking" than Harry’s remarks.
Molodkin, an anti-war artist who lives in France, has previously said any money raised from the sale of the blood-soaked copies of Spare will be donated to Afghan charities.
The blood was originally donated to fill a sculpture Molodkin created of the Royal Coat of Arms, which was projected on to St Paul’s Cathedral in London in March.
Harry’s controversial comments
The duke faced criticism for revealing in his memoir that he killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving with the British Army in Afghanistan.
He wrote that it "wasn’t a number that gave me any satisfaction… but neither was it a number that made me feel ashamed".
The prince also admitted that he did not think of those he killed as "people", but instead as "chess pieces" that had been taken off the board.
He wrote: "While in the heat and fog of combat, I didn’t think of those 25 as people. You can’t kill people if you think of them as people. You can’t really harm people if you think of them as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bads taken away before they could kill Goods."
Mr Nordmann said: "The son of the King said, like, it was a game. This is really shocking.
"You don’t kill like a game."
Mr Nordmann said he plans to keep his blood-soaked copy of Spare in his home "near a book of the Rolling Stones".
It is the sixth piece he has bought from Molodkin over 15 years. "He has multiple talents and he knows how to express with quality," he said of the artist.
"It’s like somebody from the Renaissance."
Molodkin is now planning a protest for the King’s coronation on Saturday when a video game will be available to access on mobile phones near Buckingham Palace.
The prototype game reflects "the very real atrocities that were committed in the Iraq and Afghani wars", the artist says, and a link sent to selected people will only function within a mile radius of the palace.
It will use similar technology to that used by Molodkin last May, when he said an image of an anti-war sculpture containing the blood of Ukrainian fighters was live-streamed at Moscow’s Red Square, as Vladimir Putin oversaw Russia’s Victory Day parade.
On the King’s coronation, Molodkin said in a statement: "The money being spent on this vulgar display of power and wealth is built on the blood of victims around the world over many generations."
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He added: "People are unable to feed their children and heat their homes so this display of pomp and ceremony should be seen for what it is.
"It is a violent assault on democracy through the monarchy’s quest to maintain its bloodline."
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