A mural that depicts a Grim Reaper wearing a cloak covered with Stars of David, holding what appears to be a dead baby and a missile, was blasted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office as a “shameful act of anti-Semitism.”
The mayor learned of the mural on Tuesday through posts on social media, said his spokesman, Alex Comisar.
“Imagery like this should have no place in our city,” Comisar said. “Mayor Garcetti was incredibly upset by it. We’re looking into the recourse that we have to have it taken down.”
The mural is painted on a brick building that’s home to the Vortex, a 400-person event space in downtown Los Angeles.
The Vortex said in a statement on Facebook that the mural was created several years ago to acknowledge the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as part of the “L.A. vs. War” art show.
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. pic.twitter.com/aMqt4hQDn3— ADL Los Angeles (@LA_ADL) February 26, 2019
The company said it “stands for free expression” and that the artist “did not intend to express an anti-Semitic message.” It said it planned to host a public discussion about the controversy at the Olympic Boulevard event space.
“We believe his intent deserves considerable weight,” the Vortex said about the artist. “We invite those who feel otherwise to paint another mural next to it.”
The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called for the mural’s 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 organization said in a statement.