A larger-than-life mural depicting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern embracing a Muslim woman has been completed, but its appearance in Melbourne has caused controversy.
The thought-provoking artwork was finished on a silo in Brunswick, north Melbourne on Wednesday.
Melbourne artist Loretta Lizzio was chosen to paint the mural after more than $11,000 was raised through a Gofundme account.
While organisers say the multicultural suburb of Brunswick was an appropriate place to put the mural, its creation has sparked fierce backlash, with more than 15,000 people signing a petition ordering its removal claiming it wasn't relevant to Australia.
Some believe the money could have been spent better elsewhere with people taking to social media to express their views.
"$11,000 can go towards actual people, help the homeless and the hungry... not a mural.." one person commented on a Facebook post.
"All I am seeing is a lot of money being put into the wrong things, it should be helping people, and the earth.." another person commented.
Others were more damning in their stance over the mural.
Despite strong backlash, many others backed the mural and Ardern.
The Prime Minister was praised globally for her compassion to the victims and her firm determination to change gun laws.
Organisers of the mural said that Brunswick was an appropriate place to put it due to the suburb's "diverse history and community".
"It is a place that had its hearts broken on the day of the Christchurch shootings," they said.
Others believed Ardern deserved the mural due to her exceptional compassion after the March 15 attack in two Christchurch mosques.
"This is a real leader with compassion and respect for all and the courage to lead, there is no better role model for world leaders today," one woman commented on a Twitter post.
For artist Loretta Lizzio, there was no better place to paint the mural than at Brunswick.
"Brunswick was chosen because it is probably one of the most multi-cultural and diverse suburbs in Melbourne," she told Daily Mail Australia.
"Just walking the streets here it is so obvious to see this is the perfect place to paint the mural."