ARTIST WITH INFLAMMATORY SOCIAL MEDIA HISTORY EXHIBITS ART IN LONDON GALLERY
Anna Laurini is currently showing her art at the Fitzrovia Gallery, having also exhibited elsewhere in London in 2022.
The Italian painter has a history of sharing inflammatory conspiracy theories about Jews on social media.
In one Instagram post, for example, a figure, which appears to be Ms Laurini, poses on a rooftop with the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City in the background. The caption reads “Imagine a world without #Israhell”, a reference to the conspiracy theory that Israel was responsible for the terrorist attacks on New York City on 11th September 2001.
In a Facebook post, Ms Laurini appears to have shared an article apparently from the publication, Palestine Voice, which seems to have featured Ms Laurini in a 2020 edition. Ms Laurini captioned the post with the words “From the river to the sea”, part of the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. This chant only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state — and its replacement with a State of Palestine — and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, which is a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Another online post apparently shared by Ms Laurini features a black and white image of the gates to what looks like a Nazi concentration camp, but replaces the infamous words above the entrance gate, “Arbeit macht Frei” (“Work sets you free”), with the words “Green pass macht Frei”, which compares COVID-19 restrictions to Nazi ideology.
Ms Laurini appears to have repeated the sentiment in this post in another, which features a version of the flag of Nazi Germany. In this instance, the post shows the flag with a green background and the words “green pass”, again apparently comparing Nazism and anti-coronavirus measures put in place by European governments.
Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.
Additionally, Ms Laurini appears to have retweeted a post that features the image of Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, who is Jewish, with captions that seem to suggest that the Rothschild family are responsible for a conspiracy that involves the “geo-engineering” of the weather and its “rebranding” as climate change, which allegedly leads to the erosion of democratic freedoms around the world.
The Rothschilds appear in many anti-Jewish conspiracy theories as a sinister, controlling force.
In a further post, she also reportedly appeared to link the Rothschild family to the 9/11 attacks, alleging that the Israeli shipping company, Zim, “broke [a] lease it had held for 30 years and moved out of the World Trade Center.” She continued: “Zim is half owned by the Rothschilds.” The notion that the Jews had advance notice of the attack on the World Trade Centre, often purportedly because the Israeli foreign intelligence service, Mossad, was involved in orchestrating the attack, is a popular antisemitic conspiracy.
In another Instagram post, Ms Laurini reportedly shared photos of herself posing with the conspiracy theorist and antisemitic hate preacher, David Icke.
She has also reportedly shared material on Gab, a social-media platform that was founded in 2016 with a claim to “champion free speech,” and has become a haven for supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory and other far-right groups and individuals banned from mainstream platforms.
She reportedly shared a cartoon there that showed a man asking “how are they connected?” as he stands in front of a board on which topics including “pornography”, “banking” and “Hollywood” are connected by string in the shape of the Star of David. The post adds: “If you ignore the JQ you are politically illiterate.” “JQ” is a reference to the “Jewish Question”.
Another post reportedly shared by Ms Laurini described the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as a “billionaire Jew pal of the rich and powerful,” and his convicted accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell as a “rich Jew”.
Asked by the JC about some of these posts, Ms Laurini reportedly said: “I cannot now recall the content of the postings that you claimed I share on social media [sic].” She reportedly added that the account on which those posts appeared “closed down over two years ago” and that the comments “do not represent” her views.
In a statement, the Fitzrovia Gallery told the JC: “We simply hire the gallery space for artists and/or their agents to exhibit. We do not get involved with any of their artwork or selection of it. We are simply a space for hire. We have not ‘arranged’ her show.”