Home Archive 03/October/2019 11:19 AM

German city denies prize to Lebanese artist because of his support for boycott of Israel


BEIRUT, Thursday, October 03, 2019 (WAFA) - The German city of Aachen denied yesterday Lebanese artist Walid Raad the Nelly Sachs literature prize worth 10,000 euros because of his support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, reported the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar.

Raad was selected for this prize for his work The Atlas Group on the history of the civil war in Lebanon between 1989 and 2004.

Al-Akhbar said Aachen Mayor Marcel Philipp said in a statement that “according to research, we have to assume that the nominated prize-winner is a follower of the BDS movement and has participated in several measures in the cultural boycott of Israel.”

When Raad refused to distance himself from the BDS movement, the prize was taken away from him.

Raad is considered one of the most important Lebanese artists who dealt with the modern history of Lebanon in a new and creative way.

Another German city, Dortmund, withdrew last month its decision to award British Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie the Nelly Sachs literature prize after awarding her the prize also citing her support for the BDS movement.

The latest steps came after the German parliament passed a law in May equating BDS with anti-Semitism.


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