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Art school apologises after student hangs giant swastika image in central hall

Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London said a student had displayed a large red banner with the Nazi symbol despite being forbidden to do so

    A leading art school has apologised after a swastika was hung from its central hall.

    Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London said a student had displayed a large red banner with the Nazi symbol, as part of an installation, despite being forbidden to do so by his tutor and by Professor Jeremy Till, the principal of the university.

    Professor Till said: “As soon as we became aware of this, the work was removed.

    “The installation of the banner was proposed by a student yesterday, and immediately and emphatically rejected.”

    He added that the university was “deeply sorry for the offence caused to our Jewish community and will be pursuing the matter," with the student.

    Professor Jeremy Till said: “Central Saint Martins is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for our diverse students, and we are aghast that the banner was installed against our specific instructions."

    One Jewish student was “shocked” to see the Nazi symbol as she made her way to class.

    “There was nothing around it that explains that it is part of any sort of installation. It looks so isolated and shocking. It is disgusting. It isn’t art.

    “The majority of people around were not even taking on board that this was horrific. People were laughing and joking,” she said.

    The student’s mother said: “I can’t believe it. This sort of imagery directly affects us as a family. My great-grandparents died in a Nazi concentration camp. My father escaped on the Kindertransport.

    “Even if it were part of an installation it is incredibly distasteful.”

    Alex Schady, programme director for the arts, took the work down when he saw it.

    He said: “The student proposed the piece of work to me, which was to be part of an exhibition about prohibition.

    “I immediately said no. But then the student arrived on the day with his work. He showed it to me and I said we are not comfortable with it.

    “He then hung it without permission. As soon as I saw it I took it down and the students watching cheered as it came down.

    “When putting any work in public spaces you have to consider the ethics. It is important that as a university we put on work that is ethically sound.”

     

     

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