TEHRAN, Iran — Ignoring widespread condemnation, Iran awarded the top prize in a Holocaust cartoon contest to a Moroccan artist for his depiction of Israel's security wall with a picture of the Auschwitz concentration camp on it.
The organizers of the exhibit — meant as a response to the Danish cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad that enraged many Muslims — awarded Abdollah Derkaoui $12,000 (U.S.) Wednesday for his work depicting an Israeli crane piling large cement blocks on Israel's security wall and gradually obscuring Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. A picture of Auschwitz appears on the wall.
The contest generated little coverage in the Iranian press and many ordinary Iranians expressed little interest, or criticized the exhibit as unnecessarily provocative.
The exhibit drew few crowds, apart from students in state-run schools who were brought by their teachers.
Iranian media didn't comment on the competition Thursday apart from reporting its outcome. None reproduced the winning cartoons.
"The exhibition had no remarkable impact on public opinion,'' said Gohar Dashti, a professor at the Soureh Art University in Tehran. "It was neither a concern of students nor of the media.''
Some people on the streets of Tehran voiced skepticism about the contest.
"Drawing cartoons ... isn't a good way to solve real and old problems," said Ahmad Nasiri, a 23-year-old student. "Denying the Holocaust through cartoons doesn't contribute to humanity.''
Name: Sabzi Aash
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
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