Artist scraps plans for Thunberg mural after boycott threats

Local News

Threats of boycotts and possible acts of vandalism against the Brick Oven Bakery in downtown Bismarck have prompted local artist Shane Balkowitsch to scrap plans to put a 7-foot-tall mural of Swedish teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg on the side of the building. (Tom Stromme via AP)

(AP) — A North Dakota artist has scrapped his plan to erect a mural honoring Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on the exterior wall of a Bismarck bakery because the business received boycott threats.

Shane Balkowitsch had planned to put a 7-foot-tall mural of Thunberg on the exterior wall of a bakery. Balkowitsch took the photo of the teenage climate activist when she visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in October.

Balkowitsch says he saw the planned mural as a celebration of art, not a dig at oil or coal companies in North Dakota. But after threats of boycotts and possible vandalism, Balkowitsch says he pulled his application with the city.

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