Calls For Controversial New Bondi Beach Mural To Be Removed
A mural created by Sydney artist Luke Cornish on Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach has made a lot of people unhappy.
Cornish's mural depicts 24 heavily-armed Australian Border Force officers with the words "not welcome to Bondi" painted above.
The mural has stirred controversy and led to Waverley Liberal councillor Leon Goltsman publicly calling for its removal on Facebook.
"The World Famous Iconic Bondi Sea Wall is supposed to be a celebration of our beach and local culture...What we have now are politically motivated offensive propaganda likely to offend families and turn away visitors," Goltsman said.
Cornish told 10 daily that he was not trying to align himself with any political parties, he was simply commenting on the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in Australia.
"It's artistic expression, it shouldn't be censored, I'm not attacking anybody," he said.
The 24 officers are intended to represent the 24 suicides in offshore detention centres since 2010.
The mural accompanies an exhibition of Cornish's art that is currently being held at Bondi Pavillion and he was invited to produce the work by Waverley Council.
He said he was inspired to produce the piece as he had visited Syria multiple times in the past two years and saw what asylum-seekers were escaping first-hand.
Cornish said that despite some "initial shock" the council have been very supportive of his work.
However, he did not anticipate the amount of backlash that the work would receive.
"I knew it was going to polarise people but probably not to this extent".