Prophet Mohamed cartoons 'censored' at Charlie Hebdo memorial exhibition in Israel

One artist said: “This sends the message that the pencil has not beaten out the Kalashnikov”

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two cartoonists have reportedly claimed they had their drawings of the Prophet Mohamed censored during an exhibition in Israel commemorating the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The artworks were part of an exhibition called Après Charlie, or ‘After Charlie’, taking place in the French Institute of Tel Aviv to coincide with the first anniversary of the attacks at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine. 

The Times of Israel reports that one caricaturist featured says his art work was removed, whilst another says his was partially covered with a sticker.

Vladik Sandler says his cartoon depicted the prophet as a nude model being sketched by the five deceased Charlie Hebdo staff. He claims that his picture was removed from the exhibition without warning or explanation. 

Roy Friedler says that his cartoon depicted the slain cartoonists going up to heaven, being greeted by the prophet and uttering “Friends, I think we screwed.” He says this cartoon was partially covered with a red sticker.

The artist claims he has been censored and says that the gallery’s alleged intervention: “sends the message that the pencil has not beaten out the Kalashnikov.”

Speaking to NRG News, a spokesperson for the Institute said that censorship had not occurred and any decisions made in relation to the art works would have been due to considerations for display space: “To the best of my knowledge, no caricature was removed from the wall. Due to the small amount of space to hang the works, we were forced to pick one of two of the works that the artists submitted and therefore not all of the works of the illustrators and caricaturists that were submitted were presented.

“All of the works appear in the catalogue. No pressure at all was put on us by the French Embassy and there was no political interference.”

Yesterday, a number of events were held in Paris to remember those who lost their lives last year in the attacks. Jihadist gunmen killed 12 members of staff at the Charlie Hebdo offices, as well as four hostages at a kosher supermarket and a police officer.

President Hollande led mourners as he placed a wreath at the Place de la Republique, accompanied by a minute’s silence and the unveiling of a commemorative tree.