A beach in Tel Aviv has decided to cover a cheeky mural known as the "Peeping Toms" in response to recent outrage and fears it was encouraging sexual harassment.
The decision to erase the mural comes days after an alleged gang rape of a teen at an Israeli resort.
The Toms depicts two young men peering through the window of the beach's female changing room. It was meant as an homage to a 1972 film Metzitzim or "Peeping", which was set at the beach. Many residents refer to the stretch of sand as "Metzitzim Beach", but for a cult film with fond memories – the humour has not aged well.
The film has been criticised for its demeaning portrayal of women, with the mural becoming a site for demonstration.
The mural has been defaced by protesters four times in the past two years, reports The Times of Israel. Just last month a group of women sprayed graffiti over the wall, reading "rape culture".
Previous graffiti attacks have included the names of high profile rapists and sexual criminals including "Jeffrey Epstein".
"This drawing, which has been stuck in public and nauseated passersby for years, teaches and normalises behavior that is criminal according to Israeli law," a member of the activist group Lotem told local media after a previous attack.
The artist who created the mural Rami Meiri said he could not defend the attitudes of the film, he said it was important to the culture of the area. "It describes a period that is part of the beach's legacy. A period that is thankfully over, but many view as a central part of its past," he told Haaretz, but he acknowledged that activists felt strongly about the painting.
Although it had been restored after each, previous attack by vandals – the local officials have decided it is finally time to erase the mural for good.
"Freedom of expression and the arts are important values in our city but because the painting was seen as acceptance of a forbidden and criminal act, we have decided to say goodbye to it," the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai told media regarding the decision.
"The mural was drawn during a very naive period, before the violence we see in society nowadays," Meiri reacted. "Had I intended to draw it today I definitely couldn't because it indeed isn't appropriate for our times."
The announcement came following an attack that had shocked Israel, in the resort of Eilat.
30 men were accused of a gang rape against a 16-year-old tourist in a beach hotel.
It prompted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a public statement about the crime, pledging those responsible would be "brought to justice".