The Repeal The 8th art work by Maser has been removed over complaints received by Dublin City Council
Following complaints being made to Dublin City Council, the Repeal the 8th artwork at Project Arts Centre in Dublin’s Temple Bar has been taken down. The mural which depicted a red love heart with the words ‘Repeal the 8th’ emblazoned across it has now been taken down.
The Repeal the 8th mural, commissioned by The HunReal Issues and created by Maser Art, alongside the Repeal Project are campaigning for the Eight Amendment of Ireland’s constitution to be repealed, provisioning for women to have abortions legally in Ireland, instead of travelling to the UK.
A statement from Project Arts Centre explains what happened: “We have taken the decision to remove the mural artwork by celebrated street artist, Maser, painted on the front of our building, after receiving a warning notice from Dublin City Council Planning Department that the work is in violation of the Planning & Development Acts (2000-2015).”
Andrea Horan, a proponent for the Repeal of the Eight Amendment, from TheHunRealIssues.com was at the Project Arts Centre when the mural was being painted over.
“The main thing is the people who are trying to take this down and stop there being visibility are the same people who are trying to control women’s bodies,” Andrea said.
“They’re using planning legislation on buildings to control women’s bodies. There are parallels that can be drawn there,” Andrea declared, indicating that the bureaucracy which restricts women from autonomy over their own bodies is akin to that being used to take the mural down.
“It’s telling that there have been murals up for over 6 months in the very same spot and there’s never been a peep about it. What’s happened is about some people using intimidation and shhh-ing people who are crying out for choice through planning legislation.”
Although the mural has been taken down, this is not the end of Maser’s artwork: “We have a petition with 3.5k people signed it, and somebody else started a position off their own back, and that has over 450 signatories, so all together there is about 4,000 signatories in a week.”
Cian O’Brien, the Director of Project Arts Centre, explained that in addition to the petition, they’ll be submitting for permission from Dublin City Council.
“We’re not going to apply for a retention order because we are taking it down,” O’Brien said. “The wall will go blank again and we’ll apply for full planning permission.”
“We didn’t realise that we were subject to planning permission, that murals like that were subject to planning permission, having had murals on the wall there for the last two years without any kind of action from the planning department or from members of the general public complaining about it.”
A Divisive Issue
“I suppose what this tells me is this issue of the Repeal of the Eight Amendment is is incredibly divisive is incredibly difficult and the campaign to Repeal the Eight Amendment is going to have a battle on it’s hands.”
“For me, it’s important that this is seen as an artwork and we’re supporting an artist’s idea to challenge the status quo and since 1966 when project was founded that’s kind of the work we’ve been doing.
“Whether it was the gay sweatshop in the early 1980s or the very first iteration of project was a reading of all the texts that were banned in Ireland at the time. So you know the art that we’ve presented is about pushing boundaries and challenging expectations.”
“Art can be political, art isn’t entertainment,” Cian concluded.
These complaints for the Repeal the 8th art come after Panti received a similar notice from Dublin City Council for the Pantibar sign which was installed last year without proper planning permission. Panti appealed Dublin City Council’s decision to take down the sign, submitting a petition with over 19,000 signatories to the council to request an exception.
You can sign the petition here to help get the artwork reinstated officially.
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