COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – A Danish art group that pokes fun at world leaders targeted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday by placing an advertisement in a Tehran newspaper with an insulting hidden message.

Beneath a picture of the president, a series of apparently sympathetic statements were arranged such as “Support his fight against Bush” and “Iran has the right to produce nuclear energy”. The advert was attributed to “Danes for World Peace”.

However, the first letters of each phrase, when read from top to bottom, spell out “S-W-I-N-E”.

The English-language Tehran Times, the conservative daily that printed the half-page advert, had apparently not detected the hidden message. But its impact is likely to be limited as the paper has a circulation of only a few thousand.

“We thought we would poke fun at Ahmadinejad because we don’t think he’s very liberal or sensitive,” said Jan Egesborg, a member of the art group Surrend. “We think he represents an extreme ideology,” he told Reuters. …

Egesborg, 44, who teaches at the Danish School of Fine Art, said: “We did it to cause a reaction. There is a young population there (in Iran) which wants more liberalisation. Hopefully they will be inspired,” he said. “It’s nothing against the country or the people, it’s (against) the person in power.”

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