Should this be displayed in a major US International Airport?

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One thing most people don’t know about me is that I have a (manageable) fear of flying despite logging around 100,000 butt-in-seat miles per year.  Even with the frequency and volume of travel, I still get nervous each and every time the engines fire up on the runway.  Generally speaking, I would say the majority of the public experiences elevated stress levels when traveling by air.  Therefore, I think it makes sense that airports are designed in a way that creates a relaxing atmosphere and soothes the average traveler’s stress of flying.

This morning I witnessed one of the finer examples in the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney.  The walkway into the lounge has a wall covered entirely by greenery. This was an excellent way to instantly create a relaxing atmosphere in the otherwise hectic day of travel.


Fast forward 20 hours of flying on a relic Qantas 747 and I am grabbing my bags in Denver and groggily stumble across this enormous mural across from baggage claim.


In case you can’t fully make it out, it appears to be a murderous masked villain with both an assault rifle and large sword terrorizing young women and children.


If you follow the rainbow the story gets a little better with the people rejoicing that the villain has been killed and put on display.

I know there is a meaningful message behind this mural but I have to wonder if a major International Airport like Denver is the best place to display a mural with these themes. If nothing else I would think this mural would scare most small children.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. It’s called “Children of the World Dream Peace” Doesn’t make it any less disturbing…

    I take it you didn’t leave DIA – the giant blue mustang outside is another example of Denver’s questionable public art program: It’s even more bizarre when you learn that part of the sculpture fell on and killed the artist.

  2. Really? You are worried about scaring children? Come on, we have violent TV, cartoons, fairy tales, etc. I doubt one painting is going to harm them any more than the rest of the media. Plus it just shows that the TSA & the USA are winning the war on terrorism.

  3. What do you expect, the entire airport looks like a giant carnival / circus tenant from the outside.

  4. I’ve been in and out of DEN probably 100 times in the past five years, and I have never seen that “murderous masked villain with both an assault rifle and large sword terrorizing young women and children” mural. About the nicest artwork at DEN is the sign on Pena a few miles from the terminal, it is pretty cool at night cycling through colors. That and the tent/mountains, everything else is pretty terrible.

  5. Agree entirely with you – for much the same reason that airlines don’t show air crash movies on board.

    As a separate point, it’s a real stretch to call Denver a major international airport. It’s a major domestic hub with a small handful of international routes.

  6. @Susan – I spent the night in Boulder so I got to see the demonic horse last night and this morning. I actually was familiar with that story though I give it a pass since it bears enough resemblance to their beloved Broncos NFL team.

    @harvson3 – Hilarious. Also nice to see my former Governor Jesse Ventura tackling the tough issues.

  7. @rick b. – That made me laugh out loud. Great perspective.

    @Kris Ziel – It is between baggage claim 6 and 7 and a very short walk from the primary arrivals meeting area.

    @NB – I agree with you. I didn’t mean to imply it has heavy international traffic, I just wanted to give it props for its handful of flights to Europe, Mexico and Canada.

  8. Most Denverites (gah, what a stupid word) don’t associate the murderous blue horse with the Broncos – we’ve got a pretty white one on top of The-We-Can’t-Decide-What-To-Name-Our-Stadium-Except-That-Everyone-Will-Still-Just-Call-It-Mile-High.

    I think it’s supposed to evoke the wild horses and unbridled opportunities of the West or somesuch.

    We apparently just really like big blue sculptures:

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