TAPED: A Nazi flag about the size of a billboard appeared briefly on a fenced gate between LACMA and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures this morning. About 16 feet wide, it may have been made of colored tape or other adhesive. (Boiling Point source)
TAPED: A Nazi flag about the size of a billboard appeared briefly on a fenced gate between LACMA and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures this morning. About 16 feet wide, it may have been made of colored tape or other adhesive.

Boiling Point source

Nazi flag appears on Fairfax fence between LACMA and Academy Museum, half-mile north of school

Photos show image on security fence just north of Wilshire; officials removed it before 8 a.m.

February 13, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the publication of this story, The Boiling Point has learned that the swastika affixed to the LACMA fence depicted an Iranian flag when viewed at a different angle and was meant as the designer’s “guerrilla art” protest against the government of Iran. Three videos demonstrating this and shared by the artist can be seen in our related story, viewable here.  The story below describes information that was available Feb. 13 – 15.  

A large representation of a Nazi flag, made of bright red-, white- and black-colored tape, was attached to the metal bars of LACMA’s utility entrance gate on Fairfax Avenue north of Wilshire Boulevard Tuesday morning and taken down by a security guard before 8:00 a.m. 

When Boiling Point reporters arrived at 10 a.m., the swastika was gone, although a loose piece of red tape was visible on the sidewalk and another small piece was still present on one of the fence’s metal bars. 

When police arrived on the scene at about 10:30 a.m., they said they had filed the incident as a hate crime. 


ENFORCEMENT: Two police officers arrived at the entrance fence where the Nazi flag was displayed at about 10:30 am, more than two hours after it had been taken down. They met with Brendan Connell Jr. and Gerry Perez of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, above.
(BP Photo by Sam Elyaszadeh)

Mr. Vytas Ivanilovas, a manager of LACMA’s security company, said the design was first found by his supervisor, whose name he did not share. He said that the supervisor told him he had seen it near the end of his eight-hour shift and had taken it down himself sometime between 7 and 8 a.m.  He said the museum’s security cameras would not have been able to get video of the posting since it was outside the museum grounds.

But two days later, on Feb. 15, Detective Ozzie Delgadillo of the Wilshire Division of the Los Angeles Police Department said police had obtained video surveillance of someone installing it.

“There was some video surveillance which depicted that here was an individual that started placing the tape, probably early in the morning,” said Detective Delgadillo in an interview, “He was there for four minutes putting up the tape on the fence, which later on when it was observed by the security there, it was removed.

“It’s some type of tape material that was placed on the LACMA fence,” he said, “and the tape created sort of a banner, which depicted a large swastika sign.”

It was not known who might have made the symbol. LACMA officials said they had no security footage capturing any events that would have occurred outside the fence.

But reporters saw museum officials sharing a photo of it.  In addition, a photo was shared with the Boiling Point by a source who wishes to remain anonymous.  

REMNANT: After hearing from museum staffers that the image of the Nazi symbol may have been a false rumor, Boiling Point reporters found remains that appeared to be a paint-appearing adhesive on and near the fence posts.
(BP Photo by Sam Elyaszadeh)

In photographs, the display appeared to have been methodically and intricately designed, with each bar of the fence having colored adhesive attached to one side of about 32 individual bars. When viewed at an angle, the bars would appear cohesively as the Nazi flag, about 16 feet wide and seven feet high.

The Boiling Point asked three security guards on the grounds of the LACMA Museum if they had seen the swastika. One person said she’d heard about something; others had only heard of its existence for the first time from Boiling Point staff.  None wanted to share their names.

Mr. Brendan Connell Jr., the museum’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, and Mr. Gerry Perez, the Academy Museum’s Director of Safety and Security, arrived at the scene at around 10:30 and spoke with police. They both said that although they had seen a picture of the swastika, they didn’t think it was real, as they hadn’t heard anything about it and it was gone when they arrived for work in the morning. 

“I can’t even believe this,” said Mr. Connell when he heard the details.

ADHESIVE: Reporters also found a small piece of red tape on the ground next to the fence where Nazi illustration had been displayed. (BP Photo by Sam Elyaszadeh)

Reporters also spoke to a supervising officer of the security team at the Academy Museum, who did not share his name but said he had received one complaint about the symbol that morning. 

The officer said that since his team had investigated it and found nothing, they believed it was never on the gate fence in the first place and that what appeared in photographs was either a projection or a photoshopped image. 

But by Wednesday, LAPD had confirmed all details reported to the Boiling point the day before.  Det. Delgadillo said the removed tape from the sign was disposed of by the security guard who took it down.

Correction: Earlier versions of this story misstated the location of the swastika representation. It was on the metal fence next to LACMA’s utility entrance, not on the utility entrance gate.

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  • J

    John KaliskiFeb 18, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Great reporting.

  • K

    Kurosh ValaNejadFeb 16, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    I am amazed that LACMA is hiding evidence and that the police without a full investigation has listed it as a hate crime. My name is Kurosh ValaNejad and i conceived and installed the artwork. And I posted it on Instagram. I included the location tag as LACMA. A basic investigation by LACMA, LAPD, and by your journalist would have clarified the misunderstanding Please update your article. And please consider publishing a story in support of the Women, Life, Freedom revolution and about the horrific crimes against humanity currently happening in Iran. My guerrilla installation is simply trying to amplify the messages that the pseudo-islamic regime in control of Iran is trying to block. I am the voice of 17 yr old tagger Hasti Ofogh who was arrested in December for writing slogans and hasn’t been seen since.

    • L

      Lili Ghasemi, Geneva, SwitzerlandFeb 18, 2023 at 7:15 am

      Bravooo Kurosh, thankss for this amazing complicated revolutionary art, thanks for being voice of your people in Iran.
      I hope the staff of university and this news website “Boiling Point” will broaden their eyesight to see the other side of the flag, which shows the spider logo in the flag of Iran’s regime. Women Life Freedom.