Commissioned mural on press freedom altered without artists’ knowledge

Media Release: Philippines                                                                                                   November 8, 2007


Commissioned mural on press freedom altered without artists’ knowledge

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned by the changes made to the press freedom mural commissioned from the Neo-Angono Artists Collective by the National Press Club (NPC) in Manila , the Philippines .

The artwork measuring 2.5 metres by 9.9 metres and illustrating the history of press freedom in the Philippines was commissioned by the NPC for 900,000 and installed on October 24.

The mural was then altered before it was unveiled to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a ceremony to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the National Press Club (NPC) on October 26.

Among the alterations to the mural was the removal of an image depicting an IFJ statement on press freedom. Other alterations include the removal of the name of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, from the banners of protesters depicted in the mural.

Officials from the NPC have claimed that the changes were made because the artists had failed to meet the condition that the piece was meant to be apolitical.

The NUJP has strongly protested the changes. The IFJ supports the stance of the NUJP and is concerned at the attack on freedom of expression of a mural that was intended to highlight press freedom issues.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 115 countries


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