Belgian Carnival town renounces UNESCO title over racism row

BRUSSELS (AP) — The famed Belgian Carnival town of Aalst is renouncing its place on the U.N. cultural heritage list, saying it is sick of widespread complaints that this spring’s edition contained blatant anti-Semitism.

Town officials say the float objected to was making a joke and contend no one should try to muzzle humor of any kind.

Aalst mayor Christoph D’Haese said Sunday that city officials “have had it a bit with the grotesque complaints and Aalst will renounce its UNESCO recognition.”

UNESCO, Jewish groups and the European Union have condemned as anti-Semitic nature a parade float at the Aalst Carnival that featured stereotypical depictions of Jews sitting on piles of money.

UNESCO already was planning to consider at its Dec 9-14 meeting in Bogota, Colombia, whether to kick Aalst off the list.