And Caravaggio can not be glorified for his contribution to baroque and Western Art in general because... he killed a man? Or you will not use Martha Stewart's recipe because... she is a convicted felon and served jail time?
I'm not fans of those folks either.
My point here being that I prefer to discuss him as "the best" landscape photographer on the merit of his photography, not his (stupid) deeds. While I generally dislike "the best..." anything, as it is so subjective and depends on context, and would never search for the best photographer, or landscape photographer, Fatali would be certainly among the candidates.
And to me, the two things are part and parcel. In MY opinion, not yours, not anyone else's, MINE, Fatali's words and actions are hypocritical of each other. Regardless of his obvious skill as a photographer (although, I could make a fairly compelling argument that his skill truly lies in the darkroom as opposed to behind the lens), regardless of the compelling personal struggles (his mom's cancer and death) that lead him in to photography, I personally find it very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the differences in what he says he believes and what he practices (or has in the past). To me, the ends do not justify the means. The difference between Fatali and the folks mentioned above, they did not commit their specific crimes in pursuit of their craft. He did. Illegal or immoral acts committed "in the name of art", do not make them any less illegal or immoral.
But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You've got yours and that's fine. You've accepted his past transgressions and in your own mind justified his actions, "because it's art". But this series of replies isn't really directed towards you. It's more for the folks that exalt his work, yet have no idea of his history (this wasn't the only incident where he stated fires in restricted areas to, as Peter Lik would say, "get the shot"...