UNESCO denies involvement in Gaza art exhibition

The controversial “Loss of Innocence” exhibition was brought to the UK last year by anti- Israel activist Rod Cox.

By JONNY PAUL
August 22, 2010 04:02
1 minute read.
A DRAWING reproduced in an advertisement for ‘Loss of Innocence,’ an exhibition of photos and childr

Gaza art 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

LONDON – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said it has no connection with the controversial exhibition of photographs and art by children from the Gaza Strip that toured Scotland last week.

The “Loss of Innocence” exhibition was brought to the UK last year by anti- Israel activist Rod Cox, a bar owner from Chester, and toured in four cities in Scotland – Dumfries, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh – claiming it was supported by UNESCO Gaza.

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UNESCO in the UK said on Friday that it was not even familiar with the exhibition.

“I have been in contact with the UNESCO office in Ramallah, which has an antenna office in Gaza, and they have confirmed that they are not familiar with this project and have not contributed to the organization of the exhibition,” a UNESCO spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

The exhibition was hosted by the extremist fringe group Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The display has been erected in a number of universities and other venues, including Manchester Cathedral in the north of England, since last September.

Cox said he wants it to “achieve a wider awareness of Israel’s crimes” and wants the exhibition to show in schools.

“The pictures show attacks by the Israeli army on civilians. While the Israelis claim they are fighting a just war they are suppressing any evidence to the contrary. The pictures reveal evidence of bombs that tear off arms and legs, and of the widespread use of bulldozers in the front line, demolishing houses to bury people alive, as well as destroying agricultural land, so they could be evidence of war crimes, too,” he said.

Cox brought back the collection of children’s paintings and drawings after spending time in Gaza last year. He was part of the Viva Palestina convoy to Gaza, led by controversial former MP George Galloway in March 2009.

Earlier this year, the UK’s Charity Commission accused the group of misleading the public over the amount of money it had raisead for Gaza. The Commission said it raised around £180,000, not the over £1 million it had claimed.


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