Hundreds sign petition amid rumours of censorship for 'scary' Toronto mural
Part of a Toronto mural is seen in a screen shot taken from YouTube video. (Paul Salvatori / YouTube)
Published Monday, December 7, 2015 10:09AM EST
More than 600 people have signed a petition amid rumours a Toronto mural some have deemed "scary" could be a target for censorship.
The 300-metre-long mural, painted by three artists who are part of the international group Essencia Arts Collective, is located on Lawrence Avenue West, between Caledonia and Benton Roads.
The artwork was approved by the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto program, and completed last month.
Shortly after the mural was unveiled, the Essentia group was told that Coun. Grank Di Giorio, who represents Ward 12, had received calls complaining that the painting was "scary."
A petition was created on change.org for those who believe the piece should not be "censored" by the City.
"We the undersigned believe that forcing Essencia to change the mural, in whole or part, will at once compromise both the beauty and message of the artwork as a whole," it reads.
"We petition that the City of Toronto, for this reason, leave the mural untouched and allowed to remain in its current and complete form."
The mural features several brightly-coloured animals, including a tiger, elephant, owl and bear, as well as landscapes ranging from bricked pyramids to choppy waves.
It also depicts polar bears walking past icy blue glaciers, flamingos passing elephants in a desert, and a man fishing in a swirling ocean.
More ominous portions show vultures flying over oil rigs, a person in a gas mask and an apparently post-apocalyptic Toronto skyline.
"The mural, in addition to its aesthetically remarkable character, is a challenging but important statement about the dangers of environmental degradation and a reminder of the natural splendour we stand to lose if the earth is left unprotected," the petition said.
The petition's creator, Paul Salvatori, posted a video of the mural so those who consider joining the movement can view it before signing.
The mural will be discussed at a meeting at Amesbury Community Centre, located at 1507 Lawrence Ave. W., at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.