Libyan graffiti artists make fun of Gadhafi

FRANCOIS MORI - Associated Press
AP
A graffiti depicting Libya ousted Moammar Gadhafi saying in arabic "Go Ahead" is seen on a street in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011.  Libyan graffiti artists are taking advantage of newfound freedom to make fun of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi on the streets of Tripoli, after 42-years of authoritarian rule artists are able to express themselves in public spaces.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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A graffiti depicting Libya ousted Moammar Gadhafi saying in arabic "Go Ahead" is seen on a street in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Libyan graffiti artists are taking advantage of newfound freedom to make fun of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi on the streets of Tripoli, after 42-years of authoritarian rule artists are able to express themselves in public spaces.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan graffiti artists are taking advantage of newfound freedom to make fun of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi on the streets of Tripoli.

For 42 years, the authoritarian leader banned writing or drawing on public walls. Artists are now expressing themselves throughout the capital of 2 million people, and their favorite topic is Gadhafi and other former members of his regime on storefronts and office buildings.

One picture mocks Gadhafi's habit of calling himself the king of kings of Africa by calling him the "monkey of monkeys of Africa."

Another shows the longtime leader's public relations officer Youssef Shakhir with a rat's tail and holding prayer beads, because people said he always held them in appearances.

Gadhafi, who remains on the run after revolutionary forces swept into Tripoli on Aug. 21, also is shown with his trademark curly hair, but the mural calls it "barbed wire hair" instead of using his popular nickname "frizzhead."