Spanish performance artist Santiago Sierra wants to give up his project in which he turned a synagogue in a German town into a symbolic gas chamber, the weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported on Monday.

Sierra told the magazine the outcry over the project which saw him accused of belittling the Holocaust was prompting him to abandon it just over a week after the opening.

“I feel misunderstood,” the 39-year-old artist said.

He said he did not create a gas chamber but “a work of art with the gas chamber as its theme” in the synagogue in the western German town of Pulheim, near Cologne.