Swastika Covered Up on Austrian Tombstone After Police Order

Local officials dispute legality of Nazi symbol on World War II-era grave.

A swastika on a World War II tombstone in an Austrian cemetery has been covered up after what state broadcaster ORF says was a police warning to the owner that he would be fined unless he did so.

ORF said Monday the unnamed owner was told that he would have to pay 4,000 euros (about $5,500) unless the Nazi symbol was covered. A photo on its website showed it concealed by a small marble square.

City and Catholic officials in Graz, about 120 kilometers (70 miles) south of Vienna, had long claimed a section of criminal law banning such symbols didn't apply because the headstone was put up before the law was passed in 1947.

But critics cited a civil law provision requiring covering up such symbols or removing them.