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VILNIUS: The European Commission has pledged to remove a poster displaying the communist hammer and sickle symbol from its Brussels headquarters after former Soviet-ruled EU member Lithuania expressed outrage, a diplomat said yesterday. Arunas Vinciunas, Lithuanian ambassador-at-large in Brussels, said the executive body of the 27-nation European Union admitted that the controversial poster was part of a campaign which it had helped financed.
“After we started seeking explanations, we received information that it was a poster contest with the theme ‘Europe4all’, and it was part-financed by the European Commission,” Vinciunas said.
“European Commission officials promised it would be removed,” he added. Lithuania intervened after British MEP Daniel Hannan slammed the poster in his blog.
A photograph he published of the offending poster showed the hammer and sickle alongside the symbols of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other religions, forming a pentagram above the caption: “We can all share the same star. EUROPE4ALL”.
“The sign was put together with old religious symbols. The hammer and sickle is a modern symbol, related to an ideology based on violence,” Lithuanian MEP Leonidas Donskis said.
“It symbolises the suffering of Eastern and Central Europe,” added the MEP.