Belgian Town Gives Up Unesco Status Following Row Over ‘antisemitism’
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Belgian Town Gives Up Unesco Status Following Row Over ‘antisemitism’

Decision comes as UNESCO, Jewish groups and the European Union condemned as antisemitic a parade float at the Aalst Carnival

A carnival float which was paraded through the centre of a Belgian city (Credit: Pen News)
A carnival float which was paraded through the centre of a Belgian city (Credit: Pen News)

The Belgian carnival town of Aalst is renouncing its place on the UN cultural heritage list, saying it is sick of widespread complaints that this spring’s edition contained blatant antisemitism.

Town officials say the float objected to was making a joke and contend no one should try to muzzle humour of any kind.

Aalst mayor Christoph D’Haese said Sunday that city officials “have had it a bit with the grotesque complaints and Aalst will renounce its Unesco recognition”.

UNESCO, Jewish groups and the European Union have condemned as antisemitic nature a parade float at the Aalst Carnival that featured stereotypical depictions of Jews sitting on piles of money.

Unesco already was planning to consider at its Dec 9-14 meeting in Bogota, Colombia, whether to kick Aalst off the list.

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