Sunday 20 October 2019

Controversial 'Repeal the 8th' mural had 'nothing to do with art' - Pro Life Campaign

Repeal the 8th mural at Temple Bar Photo:HunReal Facebook
Repeal the 8th mural at Temple Bar Photo:HunReal Facebook

Meadhbh McGrath

The Pro Life Campaign has responded to the removal of a "Repeal the 8th" mural in Temple Bar on Monday, claiming the installation had "nothing to do with art".

The mural, painted by Irish artist Maser, was removed from the front wall of the Project Arts Centre following a warning notice from Dublin City Council.

“The right decision has been taken to remove this highly political mural which had everything to do with campaigning and nothing to do with art,” Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said in a statement.

“The claims by some that its removal represents censorship are laughable.”

The artwork was funded by the Hunreal Issues, a website dedicated to making current affairs accessible to all, and was installed on July 8.

Project Arts Centre said they had received over 200 letters of support for the artwork along with 50 complaints.

“The Project Arts Centre should belong to everyone and not have such a close-minded attitude on what constitutes freedom of expression,” Ms Sherlock continued.

“In its current make up, there is not the slightest chance that it would have allowed, for example, a mural being placed on its building giving voice to women’s feelings of abortion regret. 

The 'Repeal the 8th' mural was removed on Monday. Photo: Pro Life Campaign
The 'Repeal the 8th' mural was removed on Monday. Photo: Pro Life Campaign

“It is issues like this that deserve proper attention given the absurd and unacceptable way the Project Arts Centre has behaved in recent weeks.”

Cian O’Brien, artistic director of the Centre, has said he is disappointed that the mural was taken down, and hopes it can be reinstalled in future.

“We have had an astonishing response to this artwork by Maser and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the conversation around this important topic," he said in a statement.

"I in no way wish to censor or silence an artist; I respect the legal position that the DCC Planning Office is in and the parameters within which they are working.

“This artwork occurs in the context of many in the artistic programme.

"It is the first time Project has been presented with a planning notice for a painted artwork on the front of our current building. Project Arts Centre is complying with the planning notice and has removed this artwork.

"We look forward to working through official channels with Maser and The HunReal Issues to explore the possibility of re-installing this work as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for the Hunreal Issues told that they are “working with Project Arts Centre and Maser to try and get it back up again”.

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