The Aalst carnival was removed from UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list during a meeting on Friday in the Colombian capital of Bogata. The body decided that the parade, which included a float with caricatures of Orthodox Jews with hooked-noses and sitting atop bags of money, was anti-Semitic. “They can continue to do the festival. We are not opposing that,” said Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO’s assistant director-general for culture. “What we don’t want is the brand of UNESCO on a festival that for (some) maybe humor, but for us is mockery of some communities.” Read more: Climate change: Thousands form a human chain in Brussels Ottone also confirmed that town officials were warned on a number of occasions about anti-Semitic symbolism in earlier carnival celebrations but failed to take measures that would “draw a line” on what kind of displays were acceptable. Jewish groups described the float as anti-Semitic and the European Union also condemned the parade, saying it was reminiscent of the kind of caricatures disseminated in Nazi Germany during the 1930s. The carnival occurs ahead of Ash Wednesday in the northern Belgian town and earlier this month its mayor said city officials no longer wanted the UNESCO designation. Christoph D’Haese defended the parade as being humorous. “We… Read full this story
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