Polish Neo-Nazi Art Features X-Rated Mickey Mouse

Nazi art is starting to make a comeback in Poland, this time using the well-loved Disney character, Mickey Mouse, on a controversial public poster that has outraged at least one official.

The work by Italian artist Max Papeschi is stretched across the top of a building in the center of Poznan, a city in western Poland.

The poster, hung by a new art gallery to advertise an exhibition, features a 1940s-style “pin-up” model wearing a Mickey Mouse mask, against a huge background of a Nazi swastika. A slogan beneath reads, “Poznan – the capital of world-class art.” An Internet web site advertised on the poster promotes an X-rated art exhibition which originates in Germany but is slated to arrive in Poland by September.

Although vandals ripped a huge hole in the two-story-high poster, the gallery immediately replaced it with a new one.

City council member Norbert Napieraj told the AFP news service that the poster violates a law banning the display of Nazi symbols. “For Poles, the swastika symbolizes the suffering and death of more than six million Poles,” he said. “Exhibiting this symbol in the city center is a particularly disgraceful and disgusting act.” At least half of all Polish citizens who died at the hands of the Nazi death machine were Jewish, and killled because of their being Jewish, sometimes with the help of Poles and Polish partisans, wiping out 90 percent of the Jews in the country.

The gallery's curator, Maria Czarnecka, defended her decision to hang the poster. “We don't have to remove it, since it's a work of art. If it were just a swastika, it would be promoting Nazi symbols – but the law allows such symbols to be used in academic and artistic contexts,” she added.

A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor told AFP on Friday that no legal action would be taken against the gallery, since “it did not break the law.”

- By Hana Levi Julia, Arutz Sheva

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