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A giant mural of a firefighter was unveiled in midtown on 9/11

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

Photograph: Courtesy Ben Lau (@just_a_spectator)

Renowned Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra has unveiled another soaring mural in New York.

Following up on his split-faced Michael Jackson in the East Village and combined profiles of Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi in Chelsea, the artist has moved in a more symbolic direction for his latest work: a seven-story kneeling firefighter meant to pay tribute to lives lost on 9/11.

The new piece, which Kobra referred to as “the braves of 9/11” on his Instagram, has completely transformed a formerly blank wall located at 780 Third Avenue in Midtown East. The mural depicts a brightly-colored firefighter, mirroring the artists’ other murals, in front of an American flag.

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“In the specific case of this mural, I am paying homage to the firemen who fought bravely that day. At the same time, I believe that this image also symbolizes our lament for all the lives that were harvested,” Kobra said in a statement provided to Time Out New York. “The image contains details that allude to the historical episode. On the helmet, I wrote the numbers 343. This is a reference to the number of firefighters killed that day. There is also a representation of the Twin Towers, and the flag of the United States. The stars represent all the lives that were lost in the tragedy—which left nearly 3,000 dead. Lastly, the colors have one goal: To pass on a message of life, of a restart, of reconstruction.”

Kobra is currently on target to paint 15 total murals across the city by the end of October. More info on the ongoing project can be found at

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