Mural brings howls

A MURAL of a wolf with exposed breasts and feeding two suckling lads with penises exposed has caused a minor stir on Beaufort Street.

The artwork by muralist Drew Straker is on the side of Cecchi’s Italian restaurant in Inglewood, and depicts a scene from the myth of Rome’s founding.

It was a collaboration between the restaurant and community group Inglewood on Beaufort, with the support of Stirling council.

“Is this art?” former Stirling councillor Paul Collins posted on Facebook along with a photo of the interspecies feeding.

“Perhaps, but Inglewood on Beaufort think two naked boys with exposed genitals sucking on the teat of an unrecognisable animal is just the clean-up our beloved Beaufort Street needs.”

A father of three girls, Mr Collins says the mural is unlikely to draw families to the area.

“I just think there are other, more appropriate Italian-themed art pieces to improve placemaking for the town centre of Inglewood,” Mr Collins said.

“For instance, imagine if the wall was brought to life with an image of the Trevi Fountain. I recall the figures are robed in that sculpture!”

The online commentary’s tended towards favourable, with some saying the artistic nature means the willies are fine, while a few others share Mr Collins’ concerns saying it’s “not one I’ll be posing in front of” or “not impressed”.

It’s a bit of a contrast to the statue of a nude dog and rabbit riding a bike a bit to the south in the Highgate part of Beaufort Street, which arrived in the more liberal part of the strip without controversy.

Inglewood on Beaufort chair Damien Giuduci worked with the council, the store owner and the artist to make the mural happen. He says he hopes kids will find it educational and it’ll make them keen to find out the meaning behind it: “It actually has a pretty cool story, it might spark an interest in mythological stories,” he said.

According to the legend of the founding of Rome, the Capitoline Wolf nourished the abandoned twins Romulus and Remus who would grow up to build the city.

It’s been depicted in many artworks throughout history; the most famous statue in the Capitoline Museum dates back a thousand years. A slightly newer statue features in the foyer of the WA Italian Club on Fitzgerald Street. The icon was proliferated in a big way by Benito Mussolini who saw himself as the “Founder of New Rome,” and he sent many Capitoline Wolf statues to cities around the world as a goodwill gesture.

by DAVID BELL

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