Controversial Sydney World Pride mural has been vandalised to protect children

A mural for Sydney World Pride has been vandalised.

Shortly after the artwork was installed in the city, hordes of residents called for it to be taken down as it was inappropriate for children to see.

The mural featured a ‘bear’ of a man wearing a harness and a furry character on his a head while being reclined on a couch with a pride flag and a can of beer.

It was commissioned by a consortium of independently operated retail, hospitality and entertainment businesses around York, Clarence and Kent Streets to promote local shops during the 2023 World Pride festival.

Sydneysiders had slammed the mural before it was vandalised on social media, calling it ‘disgusting’, ‘sick’, and ‘Balenciaga type s**t’.

That last comment is related to the fashion brand Balenciaga, who was recently slammed for releasing a campaign showing children holding teddy bears that were dressed in BDSM gear.

The original mural was shared to the YCK Laneways Instagram page, with many taking to social media to slam the artwork.

One user said: “What a disgrace! Showing fetish gear in public where kids are around is disgusting and groomer behavior. What goes on in your company’s head to think that this is okay to be displayed in public? Men or women wearing this stuff in public is NOT okay, especially around kids.”

Another added: “If members of the gay community think promoting BDSM Teddy Bear heads is helping diversity or inclusivity they are wrong.”

The ‘bearmural was damaged overnight, with white paint splashed over the bear’s face while black paint has been splashed over the ‘body’ part of the mural to cover the harness depicted in the painting.

Perhaps hinting at the motive behind the attack, vandal wrote alongside the mural: “Leave the kids alone.”

Police in Sydney were notified of the defacement of the mural at about 9.30pm on Wednesday night, news.com.au reports.

“Police have been told a man wearing a black hooded jumper, green pants and white sneakers was seen at the location about the time of the first incident,” NSW Police said in a statement.

Videos have surfaced online of the artwork after it was defaced, with many praising the damage done to the mural.

One user said: “Saw this coming from a mile away.”

A second commented: “Not all hero’s (sic) wear capes.”

Another questioned: “Why weren’t the cops there when it was being painted.”

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