Vancouver Art Gallery Ordered To Remove Anti-Olympics Mural

from the free-speech?-not-with-the-olympics-in-town dept

Yet again, we're learning how when the Olympics come to town, your free speech rights apparently disappear. Rob Hyndman sends over the news that a Vancouver art gallery was ordered to remove a mural, because it was viewed as being anti-Olympics. The Olympics, of course, comes to Vancouver in a few months. The mural in question showed five rings, in the usual Olympic pattern, with four of the rings showing a frown face, and the fifth showing a smiley. The mural was hanging outside of the gallery, so the city claims the order to take it down came due to local graffiti laws -- though the gallery says in 10 years, this is the first mural it had to take down. In fact, when the landlord was told to remove the graffiti, he called the city back to ask what graffiti since he didn't see any and assumed the mural was fine, given the history of murals hung there. And, of course, there's already concern over a special law -- passed just for the Olympics -- that gives law enforcement the right to remove signage that they don't like.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    So basically the International Olympic Committee exists solely to make the RIAA look warm and fuzzy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    not surprising..

    the olympic committee thinks they can control everything. If you go to the olympics and take photos of the events, the committee thinks you cannot post them on anything like flickr since the images are copyright to the olympic committee.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    Interesting that you bring that up. I was thinking about the royalty issues by SOCAN playing music at the Vancouver transit system the other day. Sorry to bring up a week-old story, but the licensing thing bugs me.

    It seems reasonable to think Vancouver-based Nettwerk offered free licensing to their music catalog for buskers, and SOCAN wanted to put the kibosh on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re: not surprising..

    "the olympic committee thinks they can control everything"

    They think that because it's true, all governments so far have allowed them control everything. Any government that would stand up to them would be blacklisted. So out of fear they all bend over and take it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: not surprising..

    "They think that because it's true, all governments so far have allowed them control everything."

    The olympics....road map for borderless globalism much?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    known coward, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    first vancouver then the . . . . .

    Olympics, Olympics über alles,
    Über alles in der Welt,
    Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
    Brüderlich zusammenhält.
    Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
    Von der Etsch bis an den Belt,
    |: Olympics, Olympics über alles,
    Über alles in der Welt! :|

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: first vancouver then the . . . . .

    Hmm. You may have a point:

    "Canadians don't get sarcasm", was the message in a recent episode of NBC's "30 Rock". They claim that this was because Canada has a very,very small Jewish Population.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Steve, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Ordered to remove? Really? And they actually did it? What if they didn't, are they going take the Olympics somewhere else? I don't think so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Westfork, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    Re: first vancouver then the . . . . .

    RE: Olympics, Olympics über alles,
    Über alles in der Welt,
    etc...

    You know, Google Translate really mangles this song...

    Censorship?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    bubba, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    great tshirt

    i bet they will sell a million of these things to the people of vancouver, will they start pulling them off peoples backs?

    look at athens, still paying for that olympics and now in a world of economic hurt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Danny (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    This is Great!

    great in a social exhibitionism sort of way.

    I hope the gallery places the mural in a prominent position just inside its front door.

    And I hope the copyright holder (artist or gallery) permits free online reproduction of this piece so the message the Olympics (or at least the City of Vancouver) is trying to suppress is spread far and wide.

    I also agree with the sentiment that the gallery ought to leave the mural out front and force the city to forcibly remove it. The episode would undoubtedly be captured on video and posted all over the Internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Danny (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    Re: great tshirt

    I will certainly buy a shirt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    They should sell poster size prints of the mural at the gallery. Oh and of course you should only be able to buy it with some other credit card than Visa (the only card accepted at the olympics? WTF?)

    ===Jac

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    Re: This is Great!

    I bet they make them remove it from public display in any format, outside or inside.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    interval, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    I bet you dimes to donuts if it was an Anti-USA mural there'd have been no problem. The gallery probably would have gotten a positive write-up in the Sun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    interval, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

    Re:

    Hey, the Nobel Committee exists solely to award laureates to people it deems fit the European Socialist agenda, why can't the Olympic Committee schill for the RIAA? We've all got to serve somebody (apparently).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    A great idea...

    Make 10,000 t-shirts of the "grafiti" symbol and get 10,000 women to wear the t-shirts and challenge the Olympic people to remove them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 6:57pm

    Re: A great idea...

    "Make 10,000 t-shirts of the "grafiti" symbol and get 10,000 women to wear the t-shirts and challenge the Olympic people to remove them."

    Based on a limited sample size of Canadian women I've seen, that is a horrible, horrible idea. You are awarded no points, and my God have mercy on your soul...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    JustMe (profile), Dec 15th, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Re: Ima Fish

    ROTFLOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    anyone know where theres a picture of the mural?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    mike42 (profile), Dec 15th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    There's a pic here: http://www.p2pnet.net/story/32424

    Love to know the name of the artist, and the name of the work. This should be free press for the artist, but the news people f*%ked it up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 15th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: not surprising..

    > > "the olympic committee thinks they can control everything"

    > They think that because it's true, all governments so far have
    > allowed them control everything.

    Well, if this specific case had happened in the USA, it wouldn't have gone far. The city can kow-tow to the Olympics and pass all the special laws it likes but none of them trump the 1st Amendment. Ordering an art gallery to take down a mural like that would violate about a half-dozen constitutional free speech precedents and would be quickly reversed by judicial order.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    sarah, Dec 19th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    QUALITY I really like this blog, now im not 1 for adding links in my replies but I feel this is a great exception, I read a blog like this on http://www.graffiti-art-murals.co.uk by a graffiti artist called Banksy & another great bunch of graffiti artists called the Graffiti Kings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This