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Controversial art Swiss withdraw photo exhibition on war victims

Photographer Jean Mohr with some of his work on victims of war

(Keystone)

Switzerland has withdrawn its offer to present a photo exhibition on war victims that was scheduled to open at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters on March 30. Complaints from certain ambassadors resulted in the withdrawal.

According to the La Liberté newspaper on Thursday, the exhibition by Swiss photographer Jean Mohr met with opposition from certain countries, particularly Turkey.  Titled “War from the victims’ perspectiveexternal link”, the exhibition contained several images of Greek refugees camps in Cyprus, after it was invaded by Turkey in 1974.

Jean-Frédéric Jauslin, head of the Swiss permanent delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was responsible for the exhibition.

"UNESCO’s communication service told me that it could create problems," he said. “As I had already intended to do, I informed the countries concerned by the photos, around 15 in total,” he added.

According to Jauslin, many reacted negatively and found some images “problematic”. He refused to name the objecting countries.

The exhibition has already travelled to 40 countries and been shown in 52 locations, including the UN office in Geneva.

“The goal was not to create problems for other countries,” Jauslin said in the La Liberté article. “I decided of my own accord to withdraw the exhibition. I have not been pressured.”

UNESCO’s communication Service on their part have denied having exerted any pressure on the Swiss delegation. According to them, the Swiss withdrew their exhibition proposal on their own, without giving any reason.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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