Is This Dunedin Mural Really Offensive?

When Polish street artist Bezt was commissioned to paint a mural in Dunedin’s Scenic Circle Southern Cross Hotel car park, it’s unlikely he suspected he’d be censoring it less than a month later.

The mural of a woman lying in a field of flowers, clutching two arrows that protrude from her stomach, got a few people up in arms – and it wasn’t long before the council pressured Bezt to change the arrows to a fantail. According to Dunedin Street Art spokesman Dr Glen Hazelton, the mural had to be changed because it differed from the original image that was given resource consent. It seems that the artist changed his mind when he saw the wall in question, and before a new consent application was approved he’d already completed the painting.

“When the hunter becomes the hunted” My solo wall in Dynedin, New Zealand

A photo posted by Bezt_Etamcru (@bezt_etam) on

There’s no record of why the complaints about the mural were made, but after receiving them the council decided that the mural was inappropriate and persuaded Bezt to change it. But was this really necessary?

What do you think? Beautifully poignant, or offensive and inappropriate?

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