Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a resolution Friday calling for the removal of a mural at a downtown Los Angeles art gallery that has drawn criticism from a Jewish group that contends it is anti-Semitic.
Koretz joins Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Anti-Defamation League of Los Angeles and some other community leaders in calling for the artwork to be removed.
The artwork, which appears at The Vortex community center on East Olympic Boulevard, depicts a Grim Reaper-type figure wearing a cloak covered with Stars of David, holding what appears to be a dead baby and a missile.
“We support freedom of expression but oppose images that condone hate,” the resolutions says.
The Anti-Defamation League of Los Angeles tweeted a photo of the mural last month, along with the message: “This mural at the Vortex in LA crosses a line. We call for its removal. For a venue that purports to welcome the community, The Vortex should join us in condemning hateful imagery that invokes anti-Semitic canards conflating Jews with death, snakes, bombs, and killing babies.”
The gallery posted the following statement on Facebook in response:
“The Vortex stands for free expression. The artist whose mural includes the Star of David (created for the LA vs. WAR show to acknowledge 9/11 about 5-6 years ago) did not intend to express an anti-Semitic message. We believe his intent deserves considerable weight. We invite those who feel otherwise to paint another mural next to it. We are also open to hosting a public discussion about this controversy at The Vortex.”
The Jewish Journal reported on Feb. 26 that the mural was partially defaced after a portion was covered with paint and the words “No place for hate” were also spray painted on it.
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