AJA Louden created a mural of Greta Thunberg, depicting the young climate activist during her “how dare you” speech, in the Canadian city of Edmonton hours after Ms Thunberg attended a climate rally nearby.
— AJA Louden (@AJALouden) October 18, 2019
However, the mural lasted only a few days before it was defaced. On Sunday as a journalist was filming the portrait, a man named James Bagnell approached the wall with spray paint and began painting a pro-oil message over the teen’s face.
It read: “Stop the lies! This is oil country!”
“This is Alberta. This is oil country. My father has worked in the oil industry. We don’t need foreigners coming in and telling us how to run our business, support our families, put food on our tables,” reportedly said the man painting the message.
He said his father, who recently died, would have been disgusted by the portrait.
“I think it’s absolutely intolerant of them to tell us how to change our lives and our people. She should go back to her country and try to make her country better.” he added.
CBC reports later that day another man was seen further defacing the mural with a French slur. He refused to speak to the reporters.
A mural of climate activist Greta Thunberg appeared in #yeg after she rallied in Edmonton on Friday
A CBC journalist was filming when two people began spray-painting over the teen’s face.
Read more: https://t.co/6NL5N37DQb #yeg #oilsands #yyc pic.twitter.com/ifS926TMuy
— CBC Edmonton (@CBCEdmonton) October 21, 2019
However, the artist who made the mural didn’t seem to be offended by the vandalism.
“Nothing lasts forever – one of my favourite things about that wall is that anyone is allowed to express themselves there, so I’m not upset at all.” AJA Louden told CBC.