The director of the De La Warr Pavilion has apologised for ‘any offence caused’ by the venue’s new seasonal banner.
On Thursday (June 13), the De La Warr Pavilion changed the banner at the front of the building to one depicting small hand-made wooden puppets.
However, a number of social media users were quick to suggest the poster looked like characters being stabbed in the back.
Other users said the image was not suitable for a family venue.
Today (Tuesday, June 18), Stewart Drew, the director and chief executive of the De La Warr said: “We appreciate that the post on Facebook did not give background to this work, and we are sorry for any offence caused.
“We have spoken to some trusted community partners and have made the decision to keep the banner up. People who walk past the pavilion will know that we regularly change our banners according to the season.
Explaining the banner, Mr Drew said: “The banner on the wall of the pavilion depicts a work Ice Pick Nick Fisherman from 1979 by artist Karl Wirsum (b.1939, USA), who collected toys and puppets. This work is inspired by his collection.
“They are small hand-made wooden puppets, with wooden handles for the puppeteer to hold. They depict fisherman, who used ice-picks to fish.
“The puppets are part of our How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s exhibition, which features works by 14 artists whose distinctive and lively visual style would go on to influence some of the most important artists of the 20th century.
“Many of the works were inspired by the artists’ love of everyday items such as comic books, amusement arcades and advertising, with no hidden meaning.”