22:20 GMT27 January 2020
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    Lars Vilks returned to the Danish capital for the first time since surviving a terror attack last month to receive an award from the Danish Free Press Society.

    Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks appeared in public on Saturday for the first time since surviving a terror attack last month.

    Vilks returned to Copenhagen to receive a prize awarded by the Danish Free Press Society. The 68-year old cartoonist was supposed to pick up his prize on February 14, during a debate at the Krudttonden cultural center.

    However, the award ceremony was interrupted by the terrorist attack during which Omar El-Hussein, a radicalized Dane of Palestinian origin, killed two people. The gunman was later shot dead by police.

    Saturday’s award ceremony was under heavy police surveillance. Vilks spoke during the award ceremony and said he did not intend to become a symbol of freedom of speech.

    Controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks is seen in Nyhamnslage January 3, 2012
    © REUTERS / Bjorn Lindgren/TT News Agency
    Vilks published his controversial cartoon in 2007, depicting Prophet Muhammad as a dog. Some accused Vilks of Islamophobia and Muslims around the world regarded the cartoon as blasphemous.

    “Some believe that it is a form of blasphemy, but I say it is what art is all about. I show my things to the world and then the world must interpret it,” Vilks said, as cited by the BBC.

    After the February 14 attacks, Vilks now lives in his native Sweden in a secret location under the police guard.


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    terror attack, award, Danish Free Press Society, Lars Vilks, Prophet Muhammad, Sweden, Denmark
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