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Swedish artist can use painting as driving licence pic

Published on Dec 13, 2012 6:05 AM
A handout picture released by Swedish artist Fredrik Saeker shows his driving license on Dec 10, 2012 Stockholm, Sweden, Saeker has been allowed by the authorities to use a painting of himself for his driving license. -- PHOTO : AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - A Swedish artist has been given the go-ahead to use a painted self-portrait as the photo on his driving licence after authorities thought the super-realistic picture came from a camera, not a brush.

Fredrik Saeker, 29, wanted to see if his work was good enough to pass for a snapshot, so when his driving licence was nearing its renewal date, he printed out and submitted a photo of one of his self-portraits.

"I've always been interested in painting and in pushing the border between painting and photography," Mr Saeker told AFP on Wednesday. Mr Saeker said he intentionally chose a painting of himself where he looked "a bit tired and worn", since he didn't know anyone who's happy with how they look on their license.

Peter Ranki, a spokesman for the Swedish Transport Agency, told daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter that Saeker could use the licence, but that he "really wouldn't recommend people doing this." "We have examined the original documents and compared them with his previous driving licence. The picture we have received looks like any other photo, so we have had no reason to question it," he said.

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