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National Front Got French Mayor To Close Holocaust Exhibit During Election

(JTA) — A French mayor closed down an exhibition on the Holocaust at the urging of politicians from the far-right National Front party, who said it constituted illicit campaigning on election day.

The mayor of Ploeren, Gilbert Lorho, ordered the closure of the exhibition on May 7, the day when millions of Frenchmen participated in the final round of the presidential elections.

Emmanuel Macron, a centrist candidate, handily won the runoff against National Front President Marine Le Pen.

A local activist for National Front, Bertrand Iragne, requested the exposition be shuttered because of its proximity to a ballot, he told the publication Marianne in an interview on Tuesday. This, he said, violated laws on the political neutrality of voting stations.

Asked how an exhibition on the Holocaust  did this, he replied: ”The media have circulated the idea that we are the new Nazis,” he said of his party, which was founded by the Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is Marine Le Pen’s father and has multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred of Jews.

Lorho told Marianne he ordered the temporary shuttering of the exhibition to “avoid unnecessary conflict” during the election.

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