Drawn into controversy: Tehran offering $50,000 prize in Holocaust cartoon contest

Published December 19th, 2015 - 07:00 GMT

An international cartoon contest held in Tehran is set this year to focus on the Holocaust, offering a $50,000 cash prize to the winner.

The organizers of the 11th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial announced on Wednesday that the competition scheduled for June 2016 was expected to draw in participants from 50 countries, according to Iran's semi-official IRNA news agency.

While competition is likely to produce contentious works, the organizers of the contest affiliated with the Tehran municipality did not specifically hold such viewpoints on the Nazi atrocities during World War II.

“We do not mean to approve or deny the Holocaust, however, the main question is that why is there no permission to talk about the Holocaust despite their (the West) belief in freedom of speech," IRNA quoted contest secretary Masud Shojai-Tabatabai as saying.

However, he indicated that Israel the Holocaust against Palestinians.

“Moreover, why should the oppressed people of Palestine pay the price for the Holocaust?" he was quoted as saying.

On the sidelines of the competition encouraging illustrators to draw about the Holocaust, the biennial had reportedly arranged for a geopolitcially-motived portrait contest focusing on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel.

Last May, a similar competition took place in Iran at the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest.


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