A work of graffiti in Ghent showing a pig police officer doing a nazi salute must be taken down, despite being a commentary on the Chovanec case – where a Slovakian man was killed in an arrest at Charleroi airport.
The artwork – created by an unknown artist on the so-called ‘Graffitistraatje’ (Graffiti street) in Ghent – must be taken down due to the offensive image, according to Alderman for Culture Sami Souguir (Open VLD).
“We are absolutely in favour of artistic freedom,” explained Souguir (Open VLD). “We do not therefore oppose the statement of the artist. However, we do have a problem with the image of the Hitler salute in our street.”
— De Gentenaar (@DeGentenaar) November 10, 2020
Investigations into the death of Joseph Chovanec remain ongoing in Belgium. The Slovakian man was rushed to hospital in February 2018 after he had been heavily subdued by a group of police officers who held him down and sat on him in a police cell at the airport. He died later in hospital.
In July this year, footage was leaked of CCTV images of the incident in the police cell at the airport, showing what led up to the police intervention and ultimately to Chovanec’s death. In addition, the footage shows a woman police officer giving a Nazi salute.
The Brussels Times