Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A top court in Germany has denied an attempt to remove an ancient antisemitic sculpture showing a Jew looking up a pig’s rear end.
The 13th-century work – on a church in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt state – also shows two people suckling from the sow’s teats.
The figures in the relief work are said to be recognisable as Jews by the clothing they are wearing.
The larger of the human figures is said to be a rabbi lifting the animal’s tail and looking into its anus, according to the Federal Court of Justice, which issued the final ruling.
In the Jewish faith, pigs are considered unclean.
The work – called Judensau or Jew’s Sow – reportedly symbolises the medieval belief that Jews would obtain their sustenance and belief systems from unclean animals.
Michael Duellmann, a member of the local Jewish community, had demanded the removal of the sculpture from the 13th-century World Heritage Site because, in his view, it depicted Jews as “filthy” and defamed “the whole of Judaism”.
He had taken the case to two courts and failed, and then complained to the Federal Court of Justice, in the south-western German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
But the court has ruled that it can stay on the grounds that an information board was placed next to it puts the ancient work into its historical perspective.