The famed Belgian Carnival town of Aalst wants to renounce 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.
UNESCO already was planning to consider at its Dec. 9-14 meeting in Bogota, Colombia, whether to kick Aalst off the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Aalst is one of Europe’s most famous Carnivals and it is a celebration of unbridled, no-holds-barred humor and satire.
Politicians, religious leaders and the rich and famous are relentlessly ridiculed during the three-day festival ahead of Roman Catholic Lent.
A decision by UNESCO to remove Aalst would be a first since the 2003 convention that created the cultural heritage label.
The Aalst Carnival has been on the list since 2010.