Brooklyn Mural Protesting Iranian Cartoonist’s Persecution Vandalized

A mural in Red Hook, Brooklyn that was painted as part of a campaign in New York and London to protest Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani’s imprisonment and subsequent added charges has been defaced with paintballs and will be taken down at the end of the month, reports Colin Moynihan in the New York Times. The mural, which is twenty-seven-feet-tall and depicts half of a woman’s face whose head is covered by a niqab, was created by South African artist Faith47 as part of a campaign spearheaded by the Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari—who was himself imprisoned in Iran for four months after the 2009 demonstrations following the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president. The owner of the building that the mural was done on gave her permission for the work to be executed and it was originally intended to stay up until October 20, but given the “extreme anger directed against [her],” Bahari and the artist who created the work have agreed to take it down earlier.

Faith47 said in regards to removing her work: “If an Islamic person who lives in the neighborhood walks past that wall and sees the image splattered by a red paint gun, essentially it’s a message of war, death, intolerance…I hate for my work to have any part in that.”