Russia's Winter Olympics slips into controversy over 'Nazi images'
Billboard adverts for elite housing complex at Sochi 2014 games uses 'neo-Hitlerite' imagery from infamous design agency, say critics.
A promotional campaign linked to the 2014 Winter Olympics is stirring debate in Russia because of its use of allegedly "fascist" imagery.
The campaign employs images of blue-eyed, blond sportsmen and women which have been described by critics as "neo-Hitlerite" and "like something from a Leni Riefenstahl film".
Images of an Aryan-looking snowboarder and an ice-skater gazing into the middle distance dominate giant billboards in Moscow and feature on the cover of brochures to advertise Gorky Gorod, an elite housing complex being built at Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi on Russia's Black Sea coast. The complex is a private-public partnership which will be the Olympic media village at the 2014 Games.
"Without doubt the authors of this advertising were inspired by Nazi art," said Ekaterina Degot, a well-known art historian and former curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery.
When the billboards were put up, the Russian art collective Voina, itself known for its controversial painting of a 65-metre penis on a drawbridge in St Petersburg, tweeted: "On Pushkinskaya Square opposite Gap, there is a huge advertisement, openly fascist in style, for elite housing in Sochi."
Degot and others said the style and pose of the subjects in the images was heavily suggestive of Nazi art which stresses racial purity and superiority.
Continued - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...cs-nazi-images