by Bruna Nessif | Mon., Apr. 15, 2013 4:51 PM
Justin Bieber was photographed shadowboxing during his visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
Dressed in an all-black get-up—including a pair of shades, a hat and hoodie—the pop star was spotted in his boxing stance with fists up with a pal inside the museum dedicated to the Jewish teen, whose wise and moving diary documented her family's experience hiding from the Nazis during the Holocaust before she was captured and died in a concentration camp in 1945.
Bieber found himself in a bit of controversy following his visit after he left the following note in the museum guestbook: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."
Although the star faced some backlash on the Twitterverse, the Anne Frank Center was not offended by his comment, saying in a statement obtained by E! News: "We'd like to thank Justin for his continued display and reinforcement of positive, peaceful attitudes, and ask him and all others to help preserve the life, ideals and legacy of Anne Frank by spreading her universal message of tolerance and social justice for all."
As well, the Center said it hoped that the singer "will put his creative force and positive attitude and spirit behind the Anne Frank Sapling Project," an effort that will plant saplings derived from the horse chestnut tree that gave Frank her her family solace while they hid from their prosecutors. Two saplings (out of a proposed 9) have been planted so far.
And if there's any doubt whether the Center is good with Bieber, the following part of the statement should clear that up. "The remaining nine saplings are scheduled for planting in her name, voice and spirit across the U.S. over the coming year. That the major media overlooked these initial plantings and instead focused on his harmless, innocent comments perhaps indicate that many bloggers, editorialists, individuals and organizations have forgotten that tolerance for all lies at the very heart of Anne's message."
A teachable moment for all, it seems.