BBC Culture

Swedish mural causes controversy

(Photo: Patrik Ljungman)

(Photo: Patrik Ljungman)

A piece of wall art at a Swedish school by graffiti artist Carolina Falkholt has stirred controversy.

Last week, local authorities announced they wanted to paint over this mural in a school in Sweden, deeming it inappropriate for its teenage students. But after a backlash, municipal officials have backed off while they engage in a debate over its future.

Gothenburg-based Carolina Falkholt was commissioned to create the mural at Tessin school in Nyköping. Vaginas feature in several of her past artworks, including an ornate depiction with ovaries painted on the streets of Gothenburg.

In response to the authority’s proposals, head teacher Harke Steenbergen said he would like to keep Falkholt’s work, telling the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper: "I see many educational advantages to having her art in the school."

There was also criticism of the council’s decision on social media, with one Facebook user questioning the sanity of those who found the mural offensive.

Town officials are divided, with one member of the culture and leisure committee saying: "Should we censor this just because it depicts female genitalia?" Conny Jakobsson told the Göteborgs-Posten: "Maybe the students think this is a really cool thing, that they have a school that dares."

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