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Mural masterpiece showing Jacinda Ardern wearing a hijab as she hugs a Muslim has sparked some controversy


Mural masterpiece showing Jacinda Ardern wearing a hijab as she hugs a Muslim has sparked some controversy

Mural masterpiece showing Jacinda Ardern wearing a hijab as she hugs a Muslim has sparked some controversy

This is an iconic image that represents peace and compassion. Some will embrace the image as it makes it way around the globe, others will find it offensive and wonder why it belongs in Brunswick.

A larger-than-life mural depicting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern embracing a Muslim woman has been finished.

The touching artwork was finally completed on a silo in Brunswick, northern Melbourne, on Wednesday.

The 75-foot-high mural portrays the moment Ms Ardern, who was wearing a hijab, hugged a woman mourning the victims of the Christchurch terror attack in March. 

More than 50 people lost their lives after a gunman opened fire at Al Noor and Masjid mosques.

Ms Ardern was praised globally for her compassion to the victims and her firm determination to change gun laws in the country.

Melbourne artist Loretta Lizzio was chosen to take on the role of painting the mural, after $11,000 was raised through a GoFundMe page to afford the supplies.

The mural has previously sparked some controversy, with almost 15,000 people signing a petition ordering its removal, saying it was not relevant to Australia.

Organisers of the mural said that Brunswick was an appropriate place to put it due to the suburb’s ‘diverse history and community’.

‘It is a place that had its hearts broken on the day of the Christchurch shootings,’ they said.  

Others believe the money could have been spent better elsewhere with people taking to social media to express their views.

‘$11,000 can go towards actual people, help the homeless and the hungry… not a mural..’ one person commented on a Facebook post.

‘All I am seeing is a lot of money being put into the wrong things, it should be helping people, and the earth..’ another person commented. 

Others believed the New Zealand Prime Minister deserved the mural due to her exceptional compassion after the March 15 attack when Australian Brenton Tarrant allegedly killed 51 people.  

‘This is a real leader with compassion and respect for all and the courage to lead, there is no better role model for world leaders today,’ one woman commented on a Twitter post.  

For artist Loretta Lizzio, there was no better place to paint the mural than at Brunswick.

diverse suburbs in Melbourne,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Just walking the streets here it is so obvious to see this is the perfect place to paint the mural.’

Ms Lizzio said she had received only positive comments during the nine days it took her to finish the massive artwork.

‘I’ve never had a response like this about an artwork ever. People were nearly crying and coming up to me and giving hugs.’

She said the artwork served as a reminder that anyone of any culture and religious faith was accepted.

‘I would really love for them to feel welcome. I have friends, I know friends of friends, who have all dealt with some form of racism, and it’s heartbreaking.’ 

The image has been projected on many famous landmarks throughout the world, including an image shown in Dubai, across the world’s tallest building.

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