Paris, 8 January 2023
In a letter to Mikkel Bogh, Director of the National Gallery of Denmark, Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Centre, expressed shock by a text under the painting “The Holy Women at the Sepulchre.”
In 1965, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council which, under his successor Pope Paul VI, produced Nostra Aetate, i.e. the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Christian and non-Christian Religions, which made a dramatic turn in seeing Judaism as the “Father Religion.”
Mr. Director, the National Gallery of Copenhagen is too important to display, at best, nonsense, which is certainly a blow to interfaith objectives.
This is a sad step in the memory of Denmark that, under Nazi occupation, saved most of its Jews, ferried to neutral Sweden in a flotilla of small boats.
Mr. Director, we urge you to remove this text, which would be considered by many as “antisemitic.” We also consider that its author be removed from your illustrious Gallery.
“The painting of the ‘Holy Women’ and its painter, Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680), deserve to be respected among the many religious artworks, and not a vehicle of hate,” concluded Samuels.
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For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at firstname.lastname@example.org