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The Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, China has now removed an exhibit of photos by an award-winning photographer, construction magnate Yu Huiping. It was decided to remove the exhibit after an outcry of racism ensued over the images, which showed the faces of African people next to the face of a wild animal.

Racist images give ‘a sense of primitive life’

As reported by the New York Times, one image really stood out, as it showed a young child with his mouth wide open, directly next to a chimpanzee, howling in a similar pose. Others showed various images of African faces next to a variety of wildlife with similar expressions.

The South African reports that the museum wanted to give its visitors “a sense of primitive life” in Africa, by tying together humans and animals. However, that report says the images simply reduce the indigenous people of Africa to the level of their wild animal counterparts.

The various photo combinations in the museum exhibit can be seen in the video published on YouTube by the Shanghaiist, included here.

Chinese culture says it is a compliment, not racist

When outrage over racism reared its head, Wang Yuejun, a curator at the museum, commented to say that in Chinese culture it is a compliment to compare people with animals, adding that their target audience is mostly Chinese. However, critics heartily disagree with that sentiment. Wang went on to say the museum had understood that the photos offended their “African friends” and has removed the images to show respect for critics’ concerns.

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However before the story of the controversial exhibit went viral, some 141,000 people had visited the museum. It was only when Edward E. Duke made an Instagram post, which has reportedly now been deleted, asking the museum why they put images of a “particular race” next to wild animals that the outcry grew.

Not the first time China has been accused of racism

According to a report by Yahoo 7 News, this isn’t the first time outrage has ensued relating to China and racial issues. They mention a viral Qiaobi detergent commercial in China that caused worldwide outrage as it showed an African man transformed after his girlfriend shoves him into a washing machine and he ends up being a “more desirable” Chinese man. That video is included below.

A more recent controversy erupted on Friday when China’s WeChat chat app was forced to apologize for using the "N-word" to translate the words “black foreigner” into English.