JUST a week after it was unveiled in its new location at St Andrew’s Church tourist office, the iconic Dublin statue of Molly Malone was defaced last week with graffiti.
The statue was found at its temporary Suffolk Street home covered in graffiti, having looked shining new after being clean and refurbished for its grand unveiling only days before.
Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin City Business Improvement District which removes graffiti from private buildings, said that, given that Molly and her cart was the most photographed stature in the city, it was not a great message to be sending out internationally.
Mr Guiney said he had noticed a rise in graffiti vandalism in Dublin of late, adding it was about four times the rate it was about four years ago, and that his company had spent more than €100,000 removing graffiti last year.
Meanwhile, the Israeli embassy in Dublin has removed images of Molly Malone in Muslim garb from its official Twitter account.
In one photo, entitled ‘Israel now Dublin next’, Molly Malone is covered in a long black headscarf traditional Muslim niquab, but it was removed following an outcry over the images last Friday.
It was one of four images superimposed with weaponry and traditional Muslim clothing which appeared associated with famous European countries, and was part of the embassy’s controversial social media campaign, but were removed last Friday.
In one addressed to Paris, the Mona Lisa was seen covered in a hijab and holding a large rocket. In an image called “Israel now Italy next”, Michaelangelo’s David wears a skirt made out of explosives.
The fourth photo depicts Denmark’s statue of the Little Mermaid with a huge gun in her hand and the words “Israel now Denmark next”. All four photos contain the caption “Israel is the last frontier of the free world”.