Dirtyworks defended as art form

Artists yesterday defended a sculptor arrested on Sunday for setting up a website that offered to grease palms in the public sector for a fee, arguing that the man was just engaging in a form of art. Police arrested Dimitris Fotiou, 34, after receiving numerous complaints from unsatisfied clients who had sent him their credit card details in hope of securing a public sector job, a plum university seat, or even legalizing their illegally built country homes. On his Internet website (, Fotiou advertised a list of similar services, with a price list of 500 to 2,000 euros. Police said the site received tens of thousands of visits, and argued that Fotiou, who was charged with criminal fraud, was in a position to have abused credit card data. But artists said the site was a work of «Net art.» Lina Theodorou, who once staged a similar stunt offering to sell human beings and their organs – which was exhibited at the National Museum of Contemporary Art – conceded that Fotiou ought to have consulted a lawyer first, but added, «Police and the media have no right to define what is and what is not art.»