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Swastika Shaped Austrian School Rebuilt

Austrian education officials have spent more than £6 million rebuilding a school – after an aerial shot showed that it looked like a swastika from the air.

The resemblance to the Nazi symbol was not noticed after the school was built in 1979 and it was only when Google Earth snaps were studied that the swastika shape was identified at the school in Villach, in southern Austria.

The St Martin's BRG school now has a square shape after education ministry officials requested the new design six months after the swastika shape was identified.

Local mayor Helmut Manzenreiter was among those who pressurised for the scandal design to be rebuilt which took more than a year and a half.

School director Roswitha Errath said: "We are all relieved that the project is now finally finished and that we can be proud of our new building which reflects our motto – transparent and open to the world."

Austrian officials said that the shape was based on a Swiss design that had been popular in the 60s for its ability to allow light to come towards the centre of the property and had nothing to do with the Third Reich – it was only when aerial views became more common that the problem was even noticed.

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