Central Saint Martins, a college of the University of the Arts London, has apologised after a red banner featuring swastikas was hung from its central hall. A student reportedly proposed the banner as a piece of “art” about prohibition, and was told not to go ahead on ethical grounds, but proceeded nonetheless.
Professor Jeremy Till, principal of the college, said: “As soon as we became aware of this, the work was removed. The installation of the banner was proposed by a student yesterday, and immediately and emphatically rejected.” He added that the university was “deeply sorry for the offence caused to our Jewish community and will be pursuing the matter…Central Saint Martins is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for our diverse students, and we are aghast that the banner was installed against our specific instructions.”
According to one report, there was no explanation around the banner and students were simply laughing about it. However when the banner was removed, Alex Schady, Programme Director for the Arts, said that students cheered: “The student proposed the piece of work to me, which was to be part of an exhibition about prohibition. I immediately said no. But then the student arrived on the day with his work. He showed it to me and I said we are not comfortable with it. He then hung it without permission. As soon as I saw it I took it down and the students watching cheered as it came down. When putting any work in public spaces you have to consider the ethics. It is important that as a university we put on work that is ethically sound.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism commends Central Saint Martins for its swift action in removing this imitation Nazi banner and calls for strong disciplinary action to be taken.
Students who encounter antisemitism can contact our dedicated team at [email protected].
— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) November 15, 2017