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Lassana Cisse Church Painting ‘Possibly The Most Important Piece Of Local Art From Last Decade’

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A striking church painting of a man who was murdered in cold blood in Malta is receiving widespread praise online – with one leading musician hailing it as one of the most important pieces of art to come out of the islands in years.

“Possibly the most important piece of local art from the last decade – and I’m not saying it ironically,” Mario Vella, Brikkuni frontman, said today in reaction to the painting of Lassana Cisse.

And it wasn’t just him – X Factor Malta judge Howard Keith Debono weighed in as well, saying “Couldn’t agree more” as Żebbuġ Councillor Steve Zammit Lupi praised it for showing the “humanity” within each person.

With two figures by his side – one representing society engrossed in a mobile phone, and the other representing the church – a beautiful image of Cisse has been painted in St George’s Basilica in Victoria, Gozo.

The image is part of a series of eight images showcasing teachings from the church.

Lassana Cisse was gunned down on 6th April 2019, in what is believed to be the first racially motivated murder in Maltese history. Former AFM soldiers Francesco Fenech and Lorin Scicluna are suspected of murdering Lassana in a drive-by shooting at around 11pm.

The murder shocked the island and led to widespread soul-searching.

Vella, known for aiming his visceral criticism on the regular, praised the St George Parish and whoever had suggested the idea and financed it.

“The church can still be relevant and play an important role in society,” Vella continued.

The striking image is one of eight images that form part of the Opri tal-Ħniena programme in St George’s Basilica in Rabat, Gozo. The series of images are meant to show people not to turn away from the vulnerable in their time of need.

Do you think this is a fitting paragraph to Lassana Cisse?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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