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Australian Artist forced to remove ‘peace mural’

The Ukrainian ambassador to Russia has disapproved the painting of a huge mural in Melbourne that shows a Russian and Ukrainian soldier hugging each other.

Artist Peter Seaton, also known as CTO was required to paint over the mural entitled as “Peace Before Pieces” on Kings Way in Melbourne following a frenzy of online hate.

Vasyl Myroshnychenko tweeted saying the mural was “utterly offensive to all Ukrainians” and asked for it to be removed.

Mr. Myroshnychenko said the artist had “no clue” about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and that it was “disappointing to see it done without consulting the Ukrainian community in Melbourne”.

“The mural creates a sense of a false equivalency between the victim and the aggressor. It must be promptly removed,” he stated.

CTO later covered his work called ‘Peace before Pieces’ on Kings Way in Melbourne a few days after finishing it. The Ambassador was further enraged at the artist for failing to consult the Ukrainian community in Melbourne prior to creating the ‘offensive painting’.

Edited versions of the painting surfaced over the internet during the weekend. One was made by an Australia-based anti-Beijing cartoonist from Hong Kong. He depicted the Russian soldier stabbing the Ukrainian one in the back. Another edited version showed the soldiers as a Nazi and a Jewish person marked for extermination.

CTO later apologized to people offended by his mural, but rejected the ambassador’s claim that his message was of “false equivalence”. 

He said that his work “doesn’t say you have to love the Russians. No. It’s just that love is fundamental within us,” he said, explaining the meaning of the image. “And anything that takes us away from love is not acting in our best interests in the long run. I really stand by that.”

Seaton says his idea of painting the mural comes from a place of love and unity. He says the point of this piece was to ask the question when will there be peace, is conflict something we have to just accept as part of the human condition or can we go beyond war?

Currently, European Countries continue to sanction and isolate Russians such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Poland and the Netherlands. Russophobia not only exists within art but also for peddling hate crimes and discrimation against Russian animals including cats. Paulo Coelho pointed out this year that the crisis in Ukraine is being used as a pretext for peddling anti-Russian sentiment. 



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  • Zamena Manekia Manji

    Zamena Manekia Manji is a breaking news writer for TMJ News with experience of over 10 years in the field. Her areas of focus are important breaking stories in North America specifically untold stories from a minority lens.

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