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Photographer rues using Polish Jewish cemetery for naked shoot

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WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Polish photographer Lukasz Szczygielski apologized for conducting a photo shoot with a half-naked model at the Jewish cemetery in Checiny.

Szczygielski explained that he wanted to draw attention to the neglected cemetery in the southern Poland town.

“The cemetery is forgotten,” he told Gazeta Wyborcza.

The model posed against the headstones naked from the waist up, with a necklace bearing a large cross hanging between her breasts.

“If it offended anyone, I deeply apologize,” Szczygielski told the local television station TVP Kielce. “This was not the intention of the session.”

Krzysztof Bielawski of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews told TVP Kielce it was not the appropriate form of drawing attention to Jewish cemeteries.

“I would prefer that this man rather clean up the cemetery rather than doing naked session there,” Bielawski said.

“One can draw attention to the Jewish cemetery in a number of other, far less shocking ways,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of The Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.

The Checiny Jewish cemetery, which dates to the 17th century, has approximately 150 tombstones.

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