Freedom to Pollute by Jens Galschiøt

Freedom to Pollute - 2002

"Freedom to Pollute" is a 6-foot-high fiberglass replica of the American Statue of Liberty, featuring smoke emitting from the torch. This sculpture was created and erected in the year 2002.

The artwork has been displayed at various climate conferences and demonstrations,

The sculpture was initially crafted as a comment to the USA's refusal to reduce their climate footprint, echoing George Bush the Elder's: "The American way of life is not up for debate."

Much has changed since then, but the sculpture continues to serve as a relevant critique on Western notions of individual freedom to consume (and pollute) as one sees fit.

The Statue of Liberty represents the American dream that is about the total freedom of the individual citizen. By putting this positive symbol of freedom together with the negative concept of pollution, a short circuit is created that visualizes the unsustainable situation. The freedom of the one limits the freedom of the other and threatens the life of others.

The sculpture is both powerful and arrogant when it just stands there and smokes smoke with its message of claiming the right to pollute. It symbolizes the strong man's right to set his own conditions without regard to others.




Press release

    Galschiøts work


    Freedom to Pollute