A row over plans by an Austrian artist to put large-scale works with Nazi images on display in Kilkenny has been resolved.
The works by Gottfried Helnwein, who has lived in Ireland since 1997, are to be exhibited next month as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
A former mayor of the city, Mr. Paul Cuddihy, objected to a proposal to display one of the images on the City Hall after it was shown to members of Kilkenny Corporation on Monday night.
After visiting the artist at his home in Co.Tipperary, however, the Fine Gael councillor said Mr. Helnwein was an "astonishinlgy good" artist whose works would have a "huge visual impact" on next month's festival.
Mr. Helnwein said he was "very happy" Mr. Cuddihy had called to his studio, in Tipperary. "It was good for both of us and we were able to exchange ideas", he said.
The picture Mr. Cuddihy had objected to is based on a propaganda photograph showing Adolf Hitler being adored by a group of young Nazis and is entitled Epiphany II. In Mr. Helnwein's version, Hitler's image is replaced by that of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus.
Councillors were told an enlarged copy of the image was to be displayed on the City Hall, although Mr. Helnwein had already decided to use another location. Mr. Cuddihy said he was concerned, when shown the image, that it might be misinterpreted. He was now aware that Mr. Helnwein had spent his working life speaking out against Nazis.
Permission has already been granted for Mr. Helnwein to display another work with Nazi images on the walls of Kilkenny Castle. It is now hoped to display Epiphany II at the Crescent, at the rear of the Kilkenny Design Centre.
The festival manager, Ms. Maureen Kennelly, said Helnwein was a "very moral" artist who was particularly focused on the damage inflicted on children by society, and especially by the Nazis.
Examples of his work can be viewed at the website: www.helnwein.com