The exhibition is intended to expose what some see as Western hypocrisy regarding freedom of expression.
Iran Exhibits Anti-Jewish Art
TEHRAN, Aug. 24 — The title of the show is “Holocaust International Cartoon Contest,” or “Holocust,” as the show’s organizers spell the word in promotional material. But the content has little to do with the events of World War II and Nazi Germany.
There is instead a drawing of a Jew with a very large nose, a nose so large it obscures his entire head. Across his chest is the word Holocaust. Another drawing shows a vampire wearing a big Star of David drinking the blood of Palestinians. A third shows Ariel Sharon dressed in a Nazi uniform, emblazoned not with swastikas but with the Star of David.
The cartoons are among more than 200 on display in the Palestinian Contemporary Art Museum in central Tehran in a show that opened this month and is to run until the middle of September.
The exhibition is intended to expose what some here see as Western hypocrisy for invoking freedom of expression regarding the publication of cartoons that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad while condemning President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran for questioning the Holocaust.
The cartoons of Muhammad, first published in September 2005 in a Danish newspaper, were widely condemned by Muslims as blasphemous. They prompted riots in many countries, which left some people dead and several European embassies burned by demonstrators.
The cartoons in the exhibit draw on images both ancient and contemporary, from the fictional “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” to Israeli tanks running over Palestinian children. Each picture is carefully matted and placed in a soft wood frame, hung with great care and illuminated by gentle lighting.
“It is not that we are against a specific religion,” said the show’s curator, Seyed Massoud Shojaei, making a distinction that visitors to the show are certain to question. “We are against repression by the Israelis.”