Mu­ral of kneel­ing Ge­orge Pell in hand­cuffs re­moved af­ter be­ing deemed ‘of­fen­sive’

Fiji Sun - - World News - Can­berra:

Aus­tralian artist Scott Marsh says he was dis­ap­pointed to hear his mu­ral of con­victed child sex of­fender and former arch­bishop Ge­orge Pell had been painted over - but he wasn’t sur­prised.

“Given the his­tory of some of my other works with re­li­gious themes it lasted longer than I thought it might, to be hon­est,” he told

The strik­ing mu­ral, which was lo­cated about 50 me­tres from St Mary’s Cathe­dral where Pell for­merly con­ducted mass, shows the former Vat­i­can trea­surer in a prison track­suit, hand­cuffs and a car­di­nal’s cap, pray­ing in front of a Satanic-look­ing fig­ure.

Mr Marsh, who’s dis­tinc­tive brand of po­lit­i­cal protest art can be spot­ted all over Syd­ney, de­scribed the mu­ral as “hold­ing a mir­ror up to the hypocrisy of the church”.

“This is a global in­sti­tu­tion that for half a cen­tury at a min­i­mum was mo­lest­ing chil­dren and cov­er­ing it up on an in­dus­trial scale,” he said. “Thou­sands of lives ru­ined in Aus­tralia alone.” The Catholic Church, and specif­i­cally Pell, is not a new sub­ject for the artist who has painted at least two other large scale mu­rals fea­tur­ing the dis­graced former car­di­nal in Syd­ney.

Dur­ing the same-sex mar­riage de­bate, a paint­ing fea­tur­ing Pell and former Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott in a wed­ding dress in an in­ti­mate po­si­tion along­side the phrase “the happy end­ing” popped up be­hind the Botany View Ho­tel in Syd­ney’s in­ner west. It was later re­moved.

The sec­ond - which is still stand­ing in Red­fern - fea­tures Pell repli­cat­ing the in­fa­mous Cricket ball-tam­per­ing in­ci­dent of 2018.


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