Laval University to change campaign poster that looks like Nazi-era symbol

A Quebec university is rethinking a fundraising poster, after critics pointed out the image looks a lot like a pavilion designed by Adolf Hitler's chief architect.

German pavilion, created for 1937 Paris World's Fair, was designed by Albert Speer

The Laval fundraising campaign image (left) will be redesigned so that it looks less similar to the Nazi-era German pavilion (right), featured at the World's Fair in Paris in 1937. (Laval University / Wikimedia Commons)

Laval University will review its choice in imagery for a fundraising campaign after facing criticism that one of its illustrations looks like a pavilion designed by a Nazi architect.

The campaign image drew its visuals partly from Laval Unversity's coat of arms, which features a cross filled with five shells and surrounded by 16 white birds. (Laval University)

One of the Quebec City university's campaign posters is an illustration of a soaring bird trailed by red and gold streams — the school's colours.

After the image was released, some pointed out it bears a striking similarity to the German pavilion designed by Adolf Hitler's chief architect Albert Speer.

The towering pavilion, created for the 1937 Paris World's Fair, featured an eagle perched on top of a swastika. 

Laval University's choice in imagery raised some eyebrows on social media.

Christophe Villemer tweeted, in French, "Is there not a history faculty at Laval University?" 

The school responded to the criticism on Sunday via Twitter.

It said that it will "review the image to eliminate its resemblance to the image of the pavilion designed for the world's fair in Paris."

It released an updated design later on Sunday following the criticism.

The university's fundraising campaign aims to raise $350 million for the school's 350th anniversary.​

With files from Radio-Canada


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.