Brick Lane mural gets partial whitewash

By Marcus Dysch, October 18, 2012

A controversial mural which was likened to antisemitic propaganda has been repeatedly defaced, but has yet to be fully removed.

Freedom for Humanity was painted on a property near Brick Lane in London’s East End last month by renowned international graffiti artist Kalen Ockerman, known as Mear One.

White paint now covers the centre section of the mural, which showed a group of apparently Jewish bankers sitting around a Monopoly-style board counting money.

Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets, has pledged to have the artwork removed, but Tower Hamlets Council confirmed this week that it was not responsible for the white paint. The authority said it was waiting for a notice period, issued against the owner of the property, to end on Thursday.

A council spokeswoman said enforcement action would then be taken if the owner did not remove the mural.

A fortnight ago the word “Haganah” — the underground military wing of the Jewish leadership in British Mandate Palestine — was scrawled over the mural. A star of David and the words “no to antisemitism” were also said to have been daubed on the work.

Mr Ockerman has admitted the work was intended to depict Jewish bankers, but responded to accusations of antisemitism by saying “this I am most definitely not… what I am against is class”.

Last updated: 11:45pm, October 18 2012