San Francisco Skyline Includes Mural of Climate Teen Greta Thunberg

Andres Petreselli paints a mural on the side of a building depicting Swedish teen climate
Ben Margot/AP Photo

People in San Francisco are now under the gaze of celebrity climate change teen Greta Thunberg with the installment of a mural of her face now a part of the cityscape.

Thunberg gained international attention over the past year after launching the Fridays for Future movement, where school children skip classes to protest adults who aren’t doing enough to combat so-called manmade climate change.

The mural was painted by Andres “Cobre” Petreselli, and the local CBS affiliate compared the painting of the 16-year-old Swede to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

“The mural is still a work in progress, as Cobre is spending his days hoisted high up on a platform about 10 stories above Mason street, on the side of the Native Sons building near Union Square,” CBS reported.

“What I want from people is to realize have to do something for the world,” Cobre said. “Otherwise, it’s going to be the beginning of our extinction.”

CBS reported on the “political” nature of the mural:

Cobre says his paintings often provoke strong reactions. He painted the Robin Williams mural on Market Street that has recently been demolished to make way for some high rise apartments. But this work of art , he said, is different.

“This one is more political, because I want them to think about it,” Cobre said. “What’s the message behind it? Maybe to create conversation with friends: ‘Have you seen the mural of Greta? What is it about? Climate change.’”

The painting was commissioned and paid for by the environmental group One Atmosphere, but the artist donated his time for the project, according to CBS.

“You hit people with public art and it hits them in the heart,” Paul Scott, executive director of One Atmosphere said in the CBS report.

Scott said he hoped the mural would inspire people to “act.”

“When people pass by, I’m sure they will be struck by the image and I hope that will help open their hearts and their minds to the remarkable conviction in Greta’s words,” Scott said. “Her voice is about truth and sacrifice in a time where lies and selfishness seem to be the rule. Hopefully where she leads, others will follow.”

Scott said he’s hoping that the ceremony planned to celebrate the mural’s completion “would go a long way toward paying the rest of the expenses of the mural, as well as other public art projects.”

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