Hillary Clinton Bikini Mural Covered with Niqab after Public Decency Complaints

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Council had threatened Melbourne street artist Lushsux with a fine over original mural, which depicted Clinton in a swimsuit with $100 notes tucked into it.

A Melbourne street artist who was threatened with a council fine over a provocative mural he painted of US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has responded by covering her image with a niqab.

“We believe that this mural is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, and it is not in keeping with our stance on gender equity.”

— Council chief executive Stephen Wall

Maribyrnong council took issue with the original mural, which depicted Clinton wearing a revealing swimsuit with $100 notes tucked into it. The council said residents complained about the piece, which was painted on to the side wall of a scooter shop in Footscray, 5km west of Melbourne.

In a statement, the council said the mural contravened its gender equity policy.

“As well as the council threatening the owner of the building with prosecution and a fine if the mural was not removed, the artist, known as Lushsux, had his Instagram account deleted after posting the image to the social media platform.”

“We believe that this mural is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, and it is not in keeping with our stance on gender equity,” the council chief executive, Stephen Wall, said.

“We contacted Victoria police to provide their opinion on the matter, and they deemed the mural to be offensive and in contravention of the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007, which council is responsible for enforcing.”

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As well as the council threatening the owner of the building with prosecution and a fine if the mural was not removed, the artist, known as Lushsux, had his Instagram account deleted after posting the image to the social media platform.

However instead of removing the mural, Lushsux covered up the swimsuit by painting a niqab over the top of it, leaving only Clinton’s eyes showing. Next to his work, he painted the message: “If this Muslim woman offends u, u r a bigot, racist, sexist Islamophobe.”

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Clinton is not the only politician to come to Lushsux’s attention.  Read the rest of this entry »


Journalists Prevented from Covering PEN Event on Press Freedom

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 reports: As part of the PEN World Voices Festival, the international press freedom organization scheduled an event this afternoon titled, “Finding Security in Unsafe Passages: United Nations Event about Protecting Journalists’ Safety and Rights.” The panel, according to PEN’s website, will “delve into the wide range of risks journalists face every day. Experts will offer safety tips, share advice for protecting sources and copyrights in all types of media and address cybersecurity risks.”

“The press is no longer able to attend this event. There has been an issue with press authorizations through U.N. security.”

— Festival spokeswoman Kyla McMillan, by email

But on the morning of the event, a spokeswoman for the festival, Kyla McMillan, notified the Observer that we had been denied entry. “The press is no longer able to attend this event,” said Ms. McMillan by email. “There has been an issue with press authorizations through U.N. security.” Read the rest of this entry »