Bloody Mural Depicting Refugees’ Plight Upsets Berliners

Some locals find the political artwork too gruesome.

Gonzalo Borondo mural in Berlin, Germany
Photo: @urbanart4you Instagram

A mural by Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo on display in the Tegel neighborhood of north Berlin is raising concern amongst Berliners, especially ones involved in the life and politics of this area.

The mural is painted on the side of a large building as a diptych. One side depicts a young girl in a blood-stained nightgown leaning against a wall that connects to a bloody floor. The other side shows a man pierced by multiple arrows standing in snow-covered forest. According to a spokesman for Gewobag, the housing association that commissioned the work, the mural is supposed to be a commentary on the refugee crisis.

Every year hundreds of tourists flock the city on tours designed to experience Berlin’s walls teeming with artwork and political statements. However, this particular mural has hit a sour note, as various Berliners have criticized the larger-than-life painting for being too gruesome.

Mothers around the Tegel neighborhood have expressed concern that the mural is upsetting for younger children and the mural’s relationship with death has raised anxieties that it might be inappropriately placed, since several people have committed suicide from the neighboring building.

In addition, a refugee home will open shortly in this area, and there is fear that these images may force the people moving into the home to recall the very events they are trying to escape.

Though Berliners in the Tegel neighborhood are creating petitions to have Borondo’s mural removed, the Gewobag spokesman sustains that the mural offers hope, as the man pierced by arrows continues to stand strong despite his injuries, the Local reports.

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