Museum denies banning photos


The Welsh National Museum has denied that it rejected an exhibition celebrating Israeli co-existence for political reasons.

Sue Lent, deputy leader of the ruling Cardiff City Council Labour group, claimed the Welsh government-funded museum had turned down a photographic display chronicling Jewish and Arab footballers and fans, "on political grounds".

The exhibition, called Low Football, is sponsored by the Israeli embassy.

But Catrin Taylor, the museum's communications officer, said it could not find space for the photos.

"We were offered the exhibition, but because of timing - we plan our programme two years in advance - we didn't have the space to host it. The exhibition was offered to us a little late in the day." She added that museum staff had not got as far as discussing the content of the photographs. "I can't comment on whether we would have displayed it had we had the space," she said.

Earlier this month the exhibition was shown at the Cardiff Central Library, but was withdrawn 24 hours later, with council officials saying they believed " it could lead visitors to suppose that the council was displaying bias".

Ms Lent said: "The library manager, naively not realising that it didn't fit in with the council's policy, thought it was non-political and agreed to it."

She added that, in her view, the exhibition was a PR exercise for Israel, which she regarded as "a racist state, worse than South African apartheid".

The photos went on display a few days later at Cardiff City Stadium before the European Championship qualifying match between Wales and Israel.

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