Chelsea’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign is making its biggest, boldest, and most public statement yet, literally.
London-born artist named Solomon Souza has been commissioned to paint a 40-foot high mural (7m wide, 12m tall) on the stadium facade, just above one of the West Stand entrances. And thanks to the official Chelsea website, we can literally watch the artist at work, as he completes his multi-day project ahead of the January 15 unveiling.
I can’t embed that video (check it out here), but here’s a clip from Twitter a couple days ago as Souza began working.
Once finished, Souza’s mural will depict three footballers — Julius Hirsch, the first Jewish player to represent the German national team (1911); Árpád Weisz, a member of the Hungarian national team at the 1924 Summer Olympics; and Ron Jones, a POW and the “Goalkeeper of Auschwitz”, who survived and died at a fantastic age of 102 just last year.
Holocaust Remembrance Day will be on January 27. Funded entirely by Abramovich, the mural is an important part of Chelsea’s continuing efforts to raise awareness and use the club’s stature to continue the fight against Antisemitism and discrimination of all forms.
“Millions of people were murdered during the Holocaust. As the living memory of the Second World War fades, the more important it becomes to remember the horrors that took place to ensure they are never allowed to happen again.
“This year is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Our club, and our club owner Roman Abramovich, believe it is crucially important to honour this anniversary. By sharing the images of these three individual football players on our stadium, we hope to inspire future generations to always fight against antisemitism, discrimination and racism, wherever they find it.”
-Bruce Buck, Chelsea Chairman; source: Chelsea FC
It’s an initiative we need to all get behind and support, especially in this ever more fractured and seemingly ever more hateful modern society we live in.