16 Marzo 2017

Segnale stradale ritenuto antisemita si rivela un progetto artistico


The Times


Kaya Burgess

Despicable antisemitic’ street sign is revealed as art project

Described as “despicable” by MPs and reported to police as a hate crime, a street art project about local identity backfired yesterday when it was mistaken for an attack on Orthodox Jews. The artist attracted anger on social media before explaining the misunderstanding and apologising for causing offence. In Stamford Hill, an area of north London with a large Jewish population, a mock street sign was spotted on a lamppost near a synagogue, bearing the silhouette of an Orthodox Jewish man within a red warning triangle. Shomrim North & East London, the Jewish neighbourhood watch group, reported to police and the local council that there was a “Beware of Jews” sign in the area, describing it as offensive. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary and M P for Hackney North e Stoke Newington, called the sign disgusting, and David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, said it was “despicable” and that such attacks had “absolutely no place in our community”.The Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism, documented a record level of incidents in the UK last year, but not all local residents were convinced that the mock street sign was another example. Asked where the sign may have come from, Rabbi Avraham Pinter, head of a local school, told the Jewish Chronicle: “It is very possible that it could have been a joke”; while others suggested  it may have been a prank for Purim, the Jewish holiday that took place last weekend. It emerged that the sign was part of a wider art project. The artist apologised, explaining that the sign was one of 27 that he had placed around London depicting a mix of local residents. Others, each in a red warning triangle, included an older woman pulling a shopping trolley and a man in a wheelchair. Frank Allais told The Guardian: “It was a project about crossing the road … how everyone is different, everyone has an identity. I put more signs up but only this one got noticed. I am sorry for any offence caused.”