Featured Image for YES voters are fighting back with beautiful messages on the defaced George Michael mural
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YES voters are fighting back with beautiful messages on the defaced George Michael mural

The survey may be over and YES may have won, but some of the toxicity we saw throughout the campaign lingers.

A mural depicting George Michael as a saint in Sydney’s inner west has been defaced twice since the survey ended.

ABC News reports that a group of residents set up camp near the mural on Saturday night and encouraged passers-by to graffiti messages of support on the defaced mural.

Messages such as “TOO LATE LOVE WON” and “LOVE CONQUERS ALL” are now scrawled on the large black splotch of paint that covers the mural.

This is dope! πŸ™πŸ»βœŒπŸΌ #nowords

A post shared by Scott Marsh (@scottie.marsh) on

The first attack on the mural occrred on Friday when a man wearing an Azztek Stone company shirt blazenly sprayed painted over the artwork.

It took all of about three hours for Azztek to track this mug down and the company has since fired him and offered to compensate for the damage done.

The second attack took place soon after when a man showed up and started using a roller to cover the mural in black paint.

“I’m defending my religion,” he said, clearly misinterpreting the meaning of every word in that sentence.

New South Wales police have officially charged the second offender and he is scheduled to appear in court on December 7th.

Scott Marsh, the artist who painted the mural, posted on Instagram about the attacks. Marsh openly supported the YES campaign and also painted a mural of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott marrying himself.

All done! πŸ‘πŸ» The response to this work has been incredible, thanks everyone who stopped and said hi πŸ‘‹πŸ» Dont forget to Vote!! πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸŒˆπŸŒˆπŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ€΅πŸΌπŸ€΅πŸΌ #voteyes #tonylovestony #MarriageEquality #sydney #redfern Big thanks @hunters.corner for the wall!! Corner Pitt st and Redfern st Redfern

A post shared by Scott Marsh (@scottie.marsh) on

“I feel terrible and I’m so sorry to all the locals who have had to endure the intimidation and bullshit during the past nights attacks,” he wrote. “It is completely surreal to see images and hear stories of groups of men, religious fanatics, travelling into these communities to intimidate locals & forcefully remove their public artwork.”

β€˜Saint George’ was painted almost a year ago as a tribute to the property owners lost mate George Michael. It is on the main train lines heading south through Sydney and thousands of people see it each day on their daily commutes. It has a become a shrine visited by George Michael fans from around Australia and the world, leaving flowers cards and candles at the foot of the wall when they come to mourn and remember George. It made international headlines when it was painted and was a feature in its own float in this years @sydneymardigras , televised across Australia and the world. So why now is it being attacked under the guise of religion?? πŸ€” I feel terrible and I’m so sorry to all the locals who have had to endure the intimidation and bullshit during the past nights attacks πŸ˜” It is completely surreal to see images and hear stories of groups of men, religious fanatics, travelling into these communities to intimidate locals & forcefully remove their public artwork. Its sad really sad… so much for free speach and freedom of expression in Australia… Thanks so much for the dozens of messages of support i have received! Ill write back to them all today. πŸ™πŸ» ✌🏼😊 The murals now beyond repair, time to let the dust settle. But i can promise you George will be back bigger and better than (and with a graffiti proof coating πŸ‘πŸ») 🌈 #georgemichael #innerwest #freedomofspeech #saintgeorge #publicart #censorship #patronsaintofthegays

A post shared by Scott Marsh (@scottie.marsh) on

“Its sad really sad… so much for free speech and freedom of expression in Australia… Thanks so much for the dozens of messages of support i have received! Ill write back to them all today. The mural’s now beyond repair, time to let the dust settle. But i can promise you George will be back bigger and better than (and with a graffiti proof coating).”

So one guy lost his job, the other is going to court and George Michael will return. Love wins again, folks.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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