A Thai student poses for a picture in front of the offensive mural.
A Thai student poses for a picture in front of the offensive mural. Photo by The Simon Wiesenthal Center
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Thailand's prestigious Chulalongkorn University issued an apology on Facebook Monday for a mural on campus that depicted Adolf Hitler and was used to mark recent graduation ceremonies.

"We apologize for the misunderstanding caused by the mural during the graduation ceremony on July 11 and 12, 2013," said the Bangkok-based university, ranked among Thailand's top institutions of higher learning.

The large canvas draped against a wall showed Hitler giving a Nazi salute along with several comic book heroes.

"The students only wanted to show through the mural that different superheroes are there to protect the world and that there are both good and evil people," Associate Professor Supakorn Dispan, dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, told the Bangkok Post.

"Please do not forget that they are first-year students and have been here for only a few months," he was quoted as saying.

The mural reportedly was removed after members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights organization, issued a complaint.

The center's website showed a picture of a recent graduate giving a Nazi salute underneath the Hitler image.