Polish Embassy in Switzerland Refuses to Remove ‘Illegal’ Promotional Posters

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For the time being, there is no agreement in the dispute over tourism posters on the fence of the Polish ambassador’s residence in Bern. Poland sees this as a contribution to international understanding, while the city of Bern sees it as a violation of the law.

“Poland is a beautiful country, which I have already visited several times and which I can only recommend to others,” city council member Reto Nause told the press agency Keystone-SDA news agency on Thursday. “Nevertheless, the city’s advertising regulations and the cantonal regulations also apply to embassies.”

The legal situation is clear, he said. “Billboards for this type of advertising on the fence are not eligible for approval. We will communicate this to the Polish embassy”.

The posters had become a public issue through a report by public radio SRF. The Polish embassy stated that the posters had been hanging on the outer fence of the residence for a year.

The images of beautiful landscapes were intended to bring Poland closer to the local population and build new bridges between the two countries, according to the embassy. But the “exhibition” is also a gesture to the residents of the neighbourhood. It serves as an inspiration and invitation to Poland.

It has met with an extremely positive response from the people of Bern. If a building permit is required for the posters, the Polish state will apply for it at a later date.

Switzerland no role model

Polish Ambassador Iwona Kozlowska says she was inspired by the Swiss Embassy in Warsaw. The embassy has put up Swiss advertising posters on the fence in a prime location.

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) admitted that it had not obtained permission from the Warsaw authorities to do so. “Attaching posters to embassy fences is practised by numerous embassies in Warsaw,” said a FDFA spokesperson. So far, there has been no objection from the city of Warsaw.

According to SRF, there are other embassies in Bern that have installed posters on their fences. If the city becomes aware of further cases, “we will proceed in the same way and inform these embassies of the applicable regulations”, said city councillor Nause.

Source : SWI