A 19th-century artwork that resides in a U.S. museum collection has been used in political posters by a German far-right political party, and the museum is not having it.
"Slave Market," an 1866 canvas by Jean-Leon Gerome, depicts a black slave trader showing a young, naked, lighter-skinned woman to a group of men. The piece was emblazoned on posters across Berlin with the slogan: "So that Europe won't become Eurabia."
"We are strongly opposed to the use of this work to advance any political agenda," Olivier Meslay, the director of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, told The Associated Press. "We did not supply the painting to the AfD," he said.
AfD, the acronym for Alternative for Germany, is a party known for its far-right, anti-refugee and anti-Islam ideology.
Since the painting is in the public domain, Meslay says, "there are no copyrights or permissions that allow us to exert control over how it is used other than to appeal to civility on the part of the AfD Berlin."