In the town of Pará de Minas, a swastika was painted on a statue that honors Benjamin de Oliveira, the first black clown in Brazil



Note from BW of Brazil: Hmm, so let me see, what could such an act mean in a country in which so many citizens claim that open displays of racism don’t exist? I won’t get into the depths of this right now, but being someone who is fascinated with World History, I know that there is much more to the system known as National Socialism in 1930s and 1940s Germany, much of it quite fascinating once one digs deeper than the average documentary is willing to reveal. But as most people have never dared to venture a little further beyond the Hitler salute, the mustache, the infamous stories and of course, its well-known symbol, the meaning etched in people’s minds today represents pure evil. With that in mind and what a swastika means in the modern context, what message should one gather from this symbol being painted on Brazil’s first black clown? Well, certainly not a country that tends to see itself as the opposite of other racist nations (see note one) Pretty intriguing considering Brazil’s own Nazi connections

In Minas Gerais, the statue of Brazil’s first black clown, Benjamin de Oliveira, was recently sprayed with a Swastika symbol

Swastika painted on a statue that honors the first black clown in Brazil

According to Military Police, the crime occurred at dawn this Sunday in Pará de Minas. To date, no suspects have been identified

By Silvia Pires*

Benjamin collage
Benjamin Chaves, (1870 – 1954), better known as Benjamin de Oliveira, a Brazilia artist, composer, singer, actor and circus clown, was born in Pará de Minas, Minas Gerais

The statue of Benjamin de Oliveira, Brazil’s first black clown, was sprayed with a swastika, in Pará de Minas, in the Center-West Region of the state of Minas Gerais. According to Military Police, the crime occurred in the early hours of Sunday (3rd). The police are carrying out the tracking, but so far no suspect has been identified.


The symbol was painted on the guitar and on the back of the sculpture with silver paint. The face of the statue was also stained with paint. Apology to Nazism is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.


The case is being investigated by the Civil Police of Pará de Minas, the artist’s hometown. In a statement, the Municipal Department of Culture said it will study ways to remove the graffiti from the statue.


The statue, installed in Bariri Park, in the São José district, is a public patrimony of the municipality in honor of the artist. One of the most important figures of the circus, Benjamin who was born in 1870, before the signing of the Lei Áurea (Golden Law that abolished slavery in 1888), and is considered the first black clown in the country.

* Trainee under the supervision of Ellen Cristie

Source: EM


  1. But as we see from regular posts on this blog, there are a lot of Brazilians who in fact know the truth and speak out about it.
About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


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