Colombian singer Shakira performs on stage at the Bercy Accordhotels Arena in Paris on June 13, 2018 at the Accor Arena Paris. (AFP/Thomas Samson)
Colombian pop star Shakira has pulled a symbol once used by the Nazis from merchandise promoting her El Dorado world tour, promoter Live Nation said, after a backlash on social media.
Merchandise for Shakira's "El Dorado World Tour" included a necklace which people on social media highlighted as being similar to the Black Sun image used by the Nazis.
The artist's concert producer Live Nation dropped the necklace from sale two weeks after the tour opened June 3 in Germany.
"The necklace Live Nation designed for Shakira's 'El Dorado World Tour' was based on Pre-Colombian imagery," the US company said on its Twitter account.
"However, some fans have expressed concern that the design bears an unintentional resemblance to Neo-Nazi imagery. We sincerely apologize for this inadvertent similarity and have permanently pulled the item from the tour collection," it said.
Social media users have called Shakira a "Nazi" for putting the design on sale.
This file picture taken on April 12, 2010 shows the (AFP/John MacDougall)
German news portal Bento stirred up the controversy. "The symbol hides three swastikas. A simple search for images on Google or Wikipedia proves it, the Black Sun is a Nazi symbol."
The site also underlined that the solar wheel image is used by Neo-Nazi groups in the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg, although it is not banned, like the Swastika.
According to academic Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, professor of Western Esotericism at Exeter University, the black sun actually dates back to ornamental discs used by the Merovingians, a dynasty that ruled over what is now France and Germany for 300 years starting in the fifth century.
UNICEF goodwill ambassador Shakira, 41, has frequently spoken out against racism, including in a February 2017 article for Time Magazine against US President Donald Trump's immigration policy.