Posters advertising Chile’s newest art school have a surprising symbol on them: a swastika. That’s not the only reason the school, which is named after a Chilean dictator and plans to open Friday in the town of Ancúd on the island of Chiloé, has sparked controversy among locals.
According to the Times of Israel, Godofredo Rodríguez Pacheco, the founder of ‘Art School, President General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte,’ has “described himself in the past as a purveyor of Hitler’s ideology,” and isn’t concerned by the Nazi association his newest enterprise has garnered.
“My ultimate goal is to form a political party, a nationalist proposal designed from Chiloé, and I don’t mind if people tell me I’m a Nazi,” he reportedly told local press.
Though the school is not being recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education, there is no law in Chile barring institutions from spreading Nazi ideology. Marcelo Isaacson, executive director of the Jewish Community of Chile, told the Santiago Times, “The difference with Europe is that Chile lags behind on its regulation condemning these kind of activities,” JTA reports. He also said that this kind of activity is “not uncommon” in Chile, and called upon country officials to implement laws preventing other similar institutions from opening.