It took fewer than 24 hours for money to be raised to paint an image of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on a silo in the Australian city of Melbourne.
More than Dh28,700 was raised to fund the mural of Ardern wearing a hijab along with the Arabic word for peace, which will appear in the Brunswick area of the city, and will be painted by street artist Loretta Lizzo.
“The image of Jacinda hugging a Muslim woman has become a beacon of tolerance, love and peace in these divisive times,” the GoFundMe page read. “We want this message, this moment in time, remembered. We want to learn from it, we want it to hold us up, to strengthen us. We want everyone to know we are them, that they are us and, that we are, and always will be, stronger together.”
On March 22, seven days on from the March 15 attack in which 50 people were killed in a mass shooting at two mosques, the same image was projected on to the Burj Khalifa.
"New Zealand today fell silent in honour of the mosque attacks' martyrs. Thank you PM @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, wrote on Twitter, sharing an image of the Burj Khalifa.
The piece is based on a photograph taken outside the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington, New Zealand in the days following the attack and is expected to be completed by Lizzo by May 30, according to the now-closed fundraising page.
“[Ardern's] complete embrace of the Islamic community, and in fact of all New Zealanders, as part of a whole that can never be divided by hate, has been both beautiful and powerful to witness,” the GoFundMe page added.
"We have invited the international street artist, Loretta Lizzio, to come to Melbourne to paint the Tinning Street silos. The silos stand 75 feet tall and are a singular landmark on the Brunswick skyline," the organisers added. "Loretta has agreed to donate her time to paint an image of unity, an image of hope and an image of peace on these massive silos."
The money raised was to cover flying the artist, her baby and partner to Melbourne and provide them with accommodation and food for the 10 days it will take for the mural, as well as the hiring of equipment to paint the 23 metre-tall silo.
Any extra money raised will be donated to the Christchurch Shooting Victims' Fund.
Works by Lizzo can be seen in London, Vancouver and cities across Australia.