BBC apologises over 'antisemitic' illustration in Proms programme


The BBC has apologised for causing offence after an "antisemitic" illustration was included in a BBC Proms programme.

Gillian Stern, from Finchley, said she was shocked that a "hideously and very obviously antisemitic cartoon" of the violinist Leopold Auer appeared in the programme for a Proms performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.

Auer was a violinist and teacher of significance, and a number of composers, including Tchaikovsky, dedicated pieces to him.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We use a range of caricatures and illustrations in our concert programmes and wanted one of Leopold Auer.

“We're sorry to anyone who was offended by the image choice - this was never our intention.”

Ms Stern said: "This image of Leopold had been printed large in the programme, with no full context or explanation of its questionable nature.

"It is the most extraordinary thing. I can't get my head around why they would have picked that."

Also surprised by the image was violin teacher Nigel Goldberg, who said: "It is an antisemitic cartoon and it is completely out of context. There is no explanation of the image at all. Anyone I've shown it to, Jewish or not, has been stunned."

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