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Swedish PM declines tattoo offer

Feb. 19, 2009 at 3:24 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has declined an artist's offer to have his chest tattooed with a design featuring a Viking-style ship.

Reinfeldt wrote to Gavle artist Sebastian Norde, 22, who previously sent the prime minister his proposed tattoo design and a letter explaining how the body ink would help the prime minister's popularity among the country's young people, The Local reported Thursday.

"Thanks for your letter," Reinfeldt wrote. "I think it's a very beautiful image; you really have talent!"

"It's just not for me, quite simply," he wrote. "Hopefully our politics will reach people without me having to get a tattoo."

Norde said he wasn't surprised by the rejection.

"It would have been cool if he'd gotten it but I sort of figured he probably wouldn't," he told The Local. "It's pretty cool that he answered at all. I didn't expect that."

However, the artist said he hasn't given up his dreams of tattooing a politician -- he has sent letters to other prominent Swedish officials with drawings of tattoos that he designed for them, The Local said.

"They all ought to think about getting a tattoo," he said of Swedish politicians.

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