SYDNEY, Australia (Aug. 18)
A bust of Adolf Hitler, draped with altered Israeli and Nazi flags, has been removed from a university arts display following a protest by Jewish students.
The display, part of the Melbourne University Drama Festival, consisted of a caricature of the Nazi leader flanked by an Israeli flag with a swastika in the place of the Star of David and a Nazi flag with the swastika replaced by a Star of David.
Julian Zmood, political officer of the Australian Union of Jewish Students, lodged a protest with the Melbourne University Student Union after receiving what he described as “a barrage of complaints.”
“Jewish students felt that their union fees were being used to desecrate the memory of the Holocaust,” Zmood told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The artist, 22-year-old sculpture student Charles Robb, claimed that his work “condemned Nazism” and was designed to highlight the hypocrisy of the art world.
He described the removal of the display as “akin to totalitarianism.”
The student union’s art committee voted unanimously to remove the work after Zmood contended that it “transgressed union policy on racist material likely to give rise to racial vilification.”
Student union President Miranda Sissons said that the decision to remove the piece was based on the “grief and distress” it had caused.