A mural at a downtown Los Angeles art gallery has drawn criticism from a Jewish group as anti-Semitic, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has called for it to be taken down.
The artwork, which appears at the Vortex on East Olympic Boulevard, depicts a Grim Reaper-type figure wearing a cloak covered with Stars of David, holding what appears to be a dead baby and a missile.
"Imagery like this should have no place in our city,'' said Alex Comisar, spokesman for Garcetti, the Los Angeles Times reported. "Mayor Garcetti was incredibly upset by it. We're looking into the recourse that we have to have it taken down."
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The Anti-Defamation League of Los Angeles tweeted a photo of the mural Tuesday, along with the message: "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."
The gallery posted the following statement on Facebook on Tuesday:
"The Vortex stands for free expression. The artist whose mural includes the Star of David (created for the LA vs. WAR show to acknowledge 9/11 about 5-6 years ago) did not intend to express an anti-Semitic message. We believe his intent deserves considerable weight. We invite those who feel otherwise to paint another mural next to it. We are also open to hosting a public discussion about this controversy at The Vortex."