University under fire over Hitler banner

Published On: Jul 15 2013 10:48:10 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 15 2013 10:17:58 AM EDT

Coconuts Bangkok

A university in Thailand is apologizing for a graduation banner that showed Adolf Hitler next to superheroes like Batman and Captain America.

Officials at Chulalongkorn University said the art students who painted the banner didn't realize the image would offend anyone, The Associated Press reported.

"(We) would like to formally express our sincere apology for our students' 'Superhero' mural," art school dean Suppakorn Disatapundhu said in a statement Monday. "I can assure you we are taking this matter very seriously."

The banner was put up last week but removed two days later following complaints.

Photos posted online showed students in their graduation robes mimicking Hitler's infamous raised arm salute, according to the AP.

Freshman art students painted the banner as part of a traditional send-off from incoming students to the graduating class.

"They told me the concept was to paint a picture of superheroes who protect the world," Disatapundhu told the AP in a telephone interview.

"Hitler was supposed to serve as a conceptual paradox to the superheroes," he said. "This kind of thoughtless display will not happen again."

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