The video in Berlin’s memorial to gay Holocaust victims has been changed following a Danish tourist’s claims one of the protagonists was racist and homophobic.
The memorial, a large stone structure concealing a video screen, in Berlin’s Tiergarten shows a looped video of two men kissing.
Berlin’s Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted under Nazi is opposite the famous 2,711 concrete slabs paying tribute to the murdered Jews of Europe.
On Monday (9 January), a Danish tourist tipped off German magazine Siegessäule, saying one of the men was Danish designer and author Jim Lyngvild.
Openly gay Lyngvild, who lives in a wooden Viking castle with his husband Morten, has been accused of being racist, sexist and homophobic. He is the blond man kissing another male model in the video.
He said he had been shouted at and heckled in the street by ‘young people with different ethnic backgrounds’.
In December 2012, he posted a status on Facebook in which he used the slur ‘Paki pigs’, but told Fyens it was only directed at three young men who yelled ‘faggot’ after him earlier that day.
According to Ekstrabladet, he has been vocal about voting for the right-wing Danish People’s Party, whose positions have often been strongly anti-gay and anti-equality, and is supposedly good friends with its co-founder Pia Kjærsgaard.
When he was criticized for his support of the party, Lyngvild was quoted as saying: ‘I also don’t like homosexuals. I don’t like it when they say: “Look at me, I’m homosexual, you have to respect me”.’
The designer told Ekstrabladet he ‘never ever uttered that I have something to do with the Danish People’s Party. I am friends with Pia Kjærsgaard, but she’s my private friend.’
Lyngvild was also supposed to judge the Mr Gay competition at Copenhagen Pride in 2013, but lost the job after using the word ‘bøssekarle’ – a Danish slur, roughly translating as ‘faggots’.
Elmgreen & Dragset, the artists behind the film in Berlin’s memorial told Siegessäule they were ‘shocked’ and distanced themselves from Lyngvilds statements.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Foundation for Memorials for Europe’s Murdered Jews) swapped the video.
The monument now shows a clip which played there between 2012 and 2014.
It shows couples of same-sex male and female couples kissing, while it is decided which film will be shown next.
Initially, Elmgreen & Dragset intended the video be changed every two years in order to keep the memorial ‘dynamic’.