Israeli student art project containing relics from Auschwitz will be exhibited

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The final project of an art student who said she used artifacts she removed from Auschwitz will go on display after she clarified that they came from outside the former Nazi camp.

Beit Berl College near Kfar Saba in central Israel announced late last week that the exhibition by Rotem Bides would go on as planned. The decision came following a disciplinary hearing with Bides, 27, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.

Ynet reported last week that Bides had visited the Auschwitz site six times while an exchange student in Krakow, and removed relics including shards of glass, small bowls, a metal screw, soil and a sign warning visitors not to take anything from the former Nazi camp.

Bides later clarified that she did not steal the objects, but gathered them from outside the camp.

“The student said her words were taken out of context by the journalists who interviewed her and that they put words in her mouth,” the management of the college said in a statement, Haaretz reported.

“The student sent a letter of clarification to the college management, stating she had committed nothing criminal like stealing and apologizing to anyone offended by the report, and the college decided to allow her to present her final project at the exhibition. Also, the college will send a letter to the Auschwitz museum to clear up any misunderstanding caused by the erroneous report,” the statement also said.

The exhibit will go on display to the public on Wednesday. It will include a letter explaining her creative process.

After the publication of the original Ynet article, the museum called on Israel’s state attorney to intercede and return the relics.

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