German city fights neo-Nazi graffiti with street art
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German city fights neo-Nazi graffiti with street art

Artists cover slogans in Dortmund with colorful images in move sanctioned by city authorities and police after project was commissioned by civil society group

'Nazi-Kiez' sprayed on a wall, opposite a house on which imperial flags hang out of the windows in Dortmund' Germany, Sept.6, 2019 (Fabian Strauch/dpa via AP)
'Nazi-Kiez' sprayed on a wall, opposite a house on which imperial flags hang out of the windows in Dortmund' Germany, Sept.6, 2019 (Fabian Strauch/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — Artists in the western German city of Dortmund have sprayed over neo-Nazi graffiti in a street that far-right extremists have long claimed as their territory.

Under the watchful eye of Dortmund police, the artists covered neo-Nazi slogans with colorful images in the city’s Dorstfeld district early Friday.

The move was commissioned by a civil society group called Association for Diversity, Tolerance and Democracy, and sanctioned by city authorities and police.

City authorities said the far-right graffiti has been “a thorn in the eye” for years, used by neo-Nazis to “intimidate and scare away people who think differently.”

The top security official in North Rhine-Westphalia state, Herbert Reul, said neo-Nazis “mustn’t be given a millimeter’s room.”

Dorstfeld has in the past seen numerous violent attacks by far-right extremists.

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