08:40 GMT +314 December 2019
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    A carnival float during the 87th edition of the carnival parade in the streets of Aalst

    Belgian Town Revokes UNESCO Title Over Anti-Semitic Carnival Float

    © AFP 2019 / NICOLAS MAETERLINCK
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    With nine years on the UN heritage list, Belgium's Aalst is a known for its traditional carnivals that the town holds three days before the Catholic Christian holiday of Ash Wednesday.

    The Belgian town of Aalst is revoking itself from the UN cultural heritage list over accusations of anti-Semitism, ABC News reported on Sunday.

    The March carnival float in Aalst depicting hook-nosed Orthodox Jews sitting on bags with money sparked outrage among the Jewish community, as well as within UNESCO and the European Union.

    "We have had it a bit with the grotesque complaints and Aalst will renounce its UNESCO recognition", Aalst mayor Christoph D'Haese said, according to Belga news agency.

    He added, however, that that Jewish caricatures would inevitably be seen during the parade next year.

    “We are neither anti-Semitic nor racist. All those who support this are acting in bad faith. Aalst will always remain the capital of mockery and satire", he said.
    Tags:
    mayor, Jews, UNESCO, scandal, anti-Semitism, carnival, Belgium
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