A mural of cartoon character Marge Simpson cutting her hair in solidarity with Iranian women has reappeared on a wall in front of Tehran’s consulate general in Milan less than a month after it was removed by “unknown agents.”
Italian artist aleXsandro Palombo told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that the new work is called “The Cut 2” and was designed and painted after “The Cut 1” was removed from the wall in front of the consulate general less than 24 hours after it went up.
While both murals show Marge cutting her trademark blue beehive hairdo, she is noticeably angrier in the second, showing her middle finger while scowling.
“Every action has a reaction, and this second painting was my reaction,” the Milanese artist said.
“Iran is a country that has always inspired me because of its extraordinary beauty, and seeing Iranians oppressed like this is unacceptable to me. The freedom of these young people is my freedom,” he added.
Women cutting their hair has become a symbol of protests sweeping Iran since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16. Many women — including celebrities and feminists around the world — have chopped their locks in solidarity with the protesters in Iran.
The act is a powerful symbol as it is mentioned in the Shahnameh, a 1,000-year-old Iranian epic and one of the main cultural foundations of Iran, written by Ferdowsi. The book is one of the most important literary works in the Persian language. In this epic work, women cut their hair as an act of mourning.
Palombo told Radio Farda he doesn’t know who removed the first mural, but when the second painting was unveiled, members of the consulate general came out and tried to stop photographers from documenting it.
“Their behavior was not friendly at all,” he said.
“Art scares the [Islamic republic] regime, but the city of Milan is in a democratic country, and we will not let anyone scare us, and that’s exactly what I tried to remind them.”
In his interview with Radio Farda, the Italian artist said his grandparents were killed during the Italian dictatorship and said Iranian protesters need to “be strong: Sooner or later this regime will fall and your courage will lead you to the light.”