British Channel 4 Network purchased a painting by Adolf Hitler for its new program "Jimmy Carr Destroys Art", which will question the meaning of controversial artwork by allowing a studio audience to decide whether the pieces should be destroyed.
As part of the show - dubbed "Art Trouble", Channel 4 had also purchased pieces by entertainer Rolf Harris who was convicted of sexual assault, sculptor Eric Gill who was accused of sexually abusing his two daughters, and painter Pablo Picasso who was known for engaging in problematic and misogynistic behavior towards women.
The show, hosted by British comedian Jimmy Carr, is expected to air later this month, and sets out to question whether a work of art can be separated from its creator.
The studio audience will be asked to decide if the pieces under debate should be destroyed, and if so, Carr will use a variety of tools, including a flamethrower, on camera.
Channel 4 described Art Trouble as "a profoundly provocative exploration of the limits of free expression in art, and whether we can separate the moral caliber of the artist from the value of their work."
"Combining stunts, surprises and special guests with a public experiment conducted by well-known artists across Britain, Art Trouble celebrates C4’s disruptive roots by exploring the boundary between controversial art and freedom of expression," the network said.
Due to the sensitivity surrounding the controversy of displaying Hitler's work for entertainment purposes, Channel 4’s director of programming Ian Katz, confirmed that if the audience chose to save the painting by Hitler, it would be “appropriately” disposed of.
“There are advocates for each piece of art,” Katz said while explaining the concept of the show. “So you’ve got an advocate for Hitler. There’ll be someone arguing not for Hitler, but for the fact that his moral character should not decide whether or not a piece of art exists or not.”