13:35 GMT06 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Brazilian Culture Secretary Roberto Alvim was removed from office at his request on Friday after he said he inadvertently alluded to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in his speech about arts.

    "I announce the resignation of Roberto Alvim from the Government’s Secretariat of Culture," Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted.

    The scandal erupted on Thursday after Alvim unveiled a new arts prize in a video live streamed on Facebook to the sounds of a piece by Richard Wagner, Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer.

    He said that Brazilian art in the next decade "will be heroic and national. It will be emotional and at the same time imperative. It will be profoundly linked to our people’s aspirations — or it will be nothing."

    As critics pointed out that the phrasing was similar to that used by Goebbels in a speech on German art in Berlin in 1933, the secretary went on the defensive, saying it was a "rhetorical coincidence."

    He later published a statement on Facebook, announcing his resignation to avoid harming Bolsonaro where he admitted that his speech had been pieced together from orations on national art and that he would have never used those words if he had known their origin.

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    Tags:
    resignation, nazism, Joseph Goebbels, secretary, culture, Brazil
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