'Veiled' Mural Sparks Controversy in Boston

Is it a funny little boy or a 'terrorist'?
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2012 11:42 PM CDT
Updated Aug 9, 2012 1:27 AM CDT
'Veiled' Mural Sparks Controversy in Boston

A giant mural in downtown Boston featuring a figure in a head covering is triggering a debate sparked by some city dwellers who find it menacing. The figure, painted by Brazilian artist twins Otavio and Gustafo Pandolfo, wears colorful clothing, including a headwrap that also covers the mouth. Residents complained to KOKH-TV that the 70-by-70-foot mural in Dewey Square looks like a terrorist, though the project's curator said it's a boy in pajamas with a shirt around his head. Some people think it could be ... both. "I don't care what it is supposed to be or who the artist is, it looks like a kid in his pajamas trying to look like an al-Qaeda operative," complained a commenter on the station's Facebook page.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino defended the work, which is part of an exhibit by "Os Gemeos" (the twins) sponsored by Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art museum. "We don't need somebody out there to divide us, and saying that's a racist thing, that's against a religion. It isn't," he said. "That was made to show a young boy out there and that's what I believe it is." A spokesman for the museum told Reuters: "Good art gets people talking," adding: "It's a joyful addition to Boston's skyline." The mural is scheduled to stay up for 15 months. (More Boston stories.)

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