Art gallery owners in Poznan, Poland are facing jail-time over an enormous banner outside of their gallery advertising an upcoming show titled “Abnormal Nudes”. The huge poster features a nude Minnie Mouse sprawled under a giant Nazi swastika.
The banner image by Italian artist Max Papeschi is called “Nazisexymous”. Local residents are especially enfuriated by the ad’s placement nextdoor to the local synagogue. During World War II the synagogue was looted by the Nazis and then flooded for use as a swimming pool for German troops.
Local prosecutors are studying the banner to determine if it promotes Fascism, a crime punishable by up to three years in jail in Poland.
The gallery manager, Maria Czarnecka, has denied that the poster promotes Nazism, saying “Our goal is not just to exhibit, but to provoke, to show how modern pop culture comments on reality”.
Ironically, Poznan just inaugurated a PR campaign last week to encourage tourism. The campaign, called “Breath of Culture”, is aimed at burnishing Poznan’s image as a city of art and culture, and is part of a movement to have Poznan named the “European Capital of Culture” for 2016. Really ?