12 July 2010
A huge poster of a Nazi swastika behind a naked pin-up model clad only in a Mickey Mouse-mask and stretched across a building has stirred controversy in Poland. A new art gallery in the western city of Poznan is using the work titled ‘NaziSexyMouse’ by Italian artist Max Papeschi to advertise an exhibition.
A local city councilor has pursued legal action, saying the artifact violated a law banning the display of Nazi symbols. Vandals have also ripped a gaping hole in the two-story high poster, forcing the gallery to put up a new one. "For Poles, the swastika symbolizes the suffering and death of more than six million Poles. Exhibiting this symbol in the city center is a particularly disgraceful and disgusting act," said Councilor Norbert Napieraj.
However, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's Office told AFP that no legal action would be taken against the gallery for publicly displaying the poster as "it did not break the law." Gallery curator Maria Czarnecka was quoted as saying that "we don't have to remove it as it is a work of art. If it were just a swastika, it would be propagating Nazi symbols. The law allows such symbols to be used in academic and artistic contexts."
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