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