City turns against photo show

Mayor says Zucca exhibition avoids reality of Nazi era

LONDON. A public exhibition of photographs which shows Parisians enjoying life in the streets of the capital during the Nazi occupation has been criticised by a senior official in the city’s culture department. The council has ordered that posters advertising the show be taken down, after Christophe Girard, deputy culture commissioner, said that it represents “fashionable revisionism”, and branded the exhibition “indecent”.

Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor, of Paris, also requested that a leaflet be handed out at the exhibition entrance which states that the pictures on show avoid the “reality of the occupation and its tragic aspects”.

The show“Parisians during the Occupation” at the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris (until 1 July) includes 270 colour photographs taken by the French artist André Zucca who worked for the bi-monthly Nazi propaganda journal Signal.

The French newspaper Le Monde reports that the library initially planned to host an exhibition of Zucca’s work in 2000

following its acquisition of the photographer’s archive of 22,000 negatives in 1986 for FFr500,000 ($101,000). The show was

cancelled, according to an exhibition researcher Evelyne Desbois, because Zucca’s daughter Nicole wanted to “minimise the collaboration period of her father”. Ms Zucca could not be reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for the library told The Art Newspaper: “The 2000 show did not take place because Liza Daum, the Zucca archivist, and Evelyne Desbois, did not gain permission from the chief curator of the library to use a text by Zucca. There were no disputes.”

Le Monde also states that “it was not indicated [in the exhibition] that Signal is a Nazi German bi-monthly.” The library’s spokeswoman responded: “From the outset, we have pointed out that Signal is a Nazi propaganda publication.” She added that the exhibition images did not appear in the Nazi magazine.

Gareth Harris

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