Italian cartoonist under fire for sketch comparing EU to Auschwitz

ROME (dpa)- Mario Improta, a controversial Italian cartoonist, was accused Monday of offending Holocaust victims after comparing the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp to the European Union.
Improta, also known as "Marione," posted a sketch on Twitter on Saturday, called #Brexit, showing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in striped pyjamas, running out of a gate and waving a Union Jack flag.

The gate resembled the infamous entrance to Auschwitz, but with a sign saying "European Union" instead of "Arbeit macht frei" (Work sets you free).
The Auschwitz Memorial Museum reacted two days later.
"'Arbeit macht frei' was a cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the #Auschwitz camp. Those words became one of the icons of human hatred. It's painful and hurtful to the memory of Auschwitz and its victims to see this symbol instrumentalized & shamefully abused," the museum said.
Improta replied: "Really?"
"Such things hurt people. It is not only disrespectful to the memory of the victims. Think about the pain it must cause to the survivors who once were forced to walk through this gate. One should not selfishly instrumentalize the symbol to gain publicity. Shameful," the museum insisted.
The cartoonist retorted, "It’s a satirical cartoon..."
In response to previous criticism, Improta posted another version of his cartoon on Sunday, in which the EU was depicted as a toilet.
On Monday, he also said he agreed to stop working with Rome's municipality to "avoid creating further inconvenience" for Mayor Virginia Raggi, who had hired him to publicize Rome's new rulebook for public behaviour.

Tuesday, December 17th 2019

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance