Aalst removes Carnival from UNESCO World Heritage list

Aalst removes Carnival from UNESCO World Heritage list
"Aalst will always remain as the capital of mockery and satire," said the mayor. © Belga

The mayor of Aalst Christoph D'Haese (N-VA) took the initiative to remove the Aalst Carnival from UNESCO’s list of Intangible World Heritage, he announced on Sunday’s TV Oost Nieuws and VTM NEWS.

The city has taken this decision as it expects to be withdrawn anyways in mid-December because of the float that had been accused last year of portraying anti-Semitic stereotypes. 

Last year, the popular event was subject to controversy because of what was considered to be an antisemitic float. It was carrying caricatured Jewish characters defending a safe assumed to be full of gold. 

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Despite several meetings between all parties and the mayor’s visit to UNESCO in Paris, no compromise was found. 

Aalst is convinced that its carnival will be excluded from the list of World heritage and refuses to be censored, D'Haese explained. "The inhabitants of Aalst suffered grotesque accusations," he added in a press release sent to TV Oost Nieuws.

"We are neither anti-Semitic nor racist. All those who say the contrary are not being honest. Aalst will always remain the capital of mockery and satire," he added. 

The Brussels Times

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