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Image of New Zealand PM Hugging Mourner to be Painted in Melbourne

Image of New Zealand PM Hugging Mourner to be Painted in Melbourne
A street artist will paint a large mural of the New Zealand Prime Minister hugging a grieving woman on the silo in Brunswick. Source: GoFundMe

The powerful image of New Zealand Prime Minister hugging a Muslim mourner outside a mosque following Christchurch terrorist attack will be immortalized on a large silo in Melbourne.

“Our community is a place made up of many cultures and many faiths. It is rich because of its diverse history and community. It is a place that had its heart broken on the day of the Christchurch shootings,” the group led by Breathe Architecture said on the crowdfunding page.

“Jacinda Ardern led the world after the shootings. Her complete embrace of the Islamic community, and in fact of all New Zealanders as part of a whole that can never be divided by hate, has been both beautiful and powerful to witness.

50 Muslim worshippers were killed in March 15 attacks targeting Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.

The terrorist attack shook New Zealand and prompted the government to tighten gun laws and launch a powerful national inquiry into the Pacific country’s worst peacetime massacre.

More than $11,000 was raised in just one day through crowdfunding for the mural to be painted on the 75-foot Tinning Street silo in Brunswick.

“The image of Jacinda hugging a Muslim woman has become a beacon of tolerance, love, and peace in these divisive times,” the GoFundMe page says.

“We want this message, this moment in time, remembered. We want to learn from it, we want it to hold us up, to strengthen us. We want everyone to know we are them, that they are us and, that we are, and always will be, stronger together.”

It’s not the first time Ardern’s image was pictured on a massive structure.

The same image was projected onto the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, last month.

Organizers of the Melbourne mural say the image has become “a beacon of tolerance, love, and peace in these divisive times”.

Street artist Loretta Lizzio, who has also painted large murals in London and Vancouver, has been invited to paint the work.

The mural has been supported by the Coburg Islamic Center. The work is expected to be completed by the end of May.


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