David Bowie’s Estate Denies That Singer’s Ashes Were Scattered at Burning Man

This article originally appeared on artnet News.

The ashes of late musician and artist David Bowie, who was quietly cremated following his unexpected death from liver cancer in January, were not, in fact, scattered at this summer’s Burning Man festival, reports the Independent.

According to E! Online, Bowie’s godchild had been given permission by the singer’s wife, Iman, to bring his ashes to the annual art and music festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The story was originally reported by the Burn.Life blog, which said that Bowie’s 16-year-old daughter, Lexi Jones, was responsible. Her name no longer appears in the story, which was edited “at the request of someone who will remain nameless … out of respect.” 

“David’s godchild and David had long talks about Burning Man and what it stands for, and David loved the message behind it,” E!’s anonymous source alleged. Bowie was said to have been honored at a ceremony attended by roughly 70 people at the Burning Man Temple, a structure erected each year in honor of festival-goers’ dearly departed. The temple is burned to the ground to mark the end of the gathering.

“We played [David’s] music the entire drive from our camp to the Temple and back,” the source claimed, adding that “most of us had the Bowie [lightning bolt] face paint on in his honor.”

this time last week, we were making one of our last playa meals (@squeezemyteddy killin’ the grilled cheese game ) and enjoying an empty city waiting for temple burn. at that moment, I was thinking how nervous I was to see this burn and how heavy my heart was feeling. in my previous three years of @burningman, I have never stayed for temple burn, but this year had more significant meaning for me. I placed a memorial inside the temple this year for @colleenburns and the side that started burning first was exactly where I had placed it. as soon as it went up in flames, I couldn’t even watch anymore and felt my body shutting down. I left the group and dipped about 30 feet back and sat in a ball and grieved. Teddy came and found me about five minutes later, but that moment, where my knees crumbled and my voice was shakey… that was the first moment I had really accepted her death. I could feel her with me, telling me to not be sad and to enjoy and appreciate every moment of life. acceptance is always a weird stage, one where understanding why isn’t always important, but just accepting the fact that the event occurred. I’m grateful to have had my best friend by my side when I needed him the most, and I’m grateful for everyone who has been in my life through one of the roughest months of my life. Colleen, your magic is beyond words and you continue to change my life for the better. I think about you everyday and I llove you more then words can say. “I know that someday we will surely find it.” ✨ #burningman #temple #davidbest #kaskadekonnect #angelonmyshoulder #llove #everythingbagel

A photo posted by Tiffany Wood (@wiffany15) on Sep 11, 2016 at 5:44pm PDT

It’s a compelling image, to think of the iconic Bowie being laid to rest at an epic party dedicated to artistic self-expression. Alas, “there is no truth in the story,” a spokesperson for the Bowie estate told the Independent.

This year’s Burning Man Temple was designed and built by the Temple Crew, a group that began working together for Burning Man’s 2000 edition. The David Best-led team was inspired to turn their structure into a memorial when one of their crew members died in a motorcycle accident in the lead up to the festival. The Temple has since become an important Burning Man tradition, and Best’s team has reportedly designed about half of the annual Temple structures in the years since.

This year’s ornate, Asian-inspired design featured eight temples, and was finished with a stained patina to give it an ancient appearance. Best and his team were also responsible for the massive-scale model of 17th-century London that was ignited on the Thames on September 4 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

Since his sudden passing, Bowie has continued to make headlines, for everything from the release of unpublished photos of the singer frolicking with wolves, to an auction of a lock of his hair. Bowie’s famed art collection, including a painting by Irish artist Jack Butler Yeats, also hits the auction block at Sotheby’s later this year.

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David Bowie’s Estate Denies That Singer’s Ashes Were Scattered at Burning Man

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