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Men's Room Mural Photograph

Summary:
Email with an attached photograph of a mural placed above urinals in a men's room claims that the mural was created by staff at an "all-women" design company for a New York office project (Full commentary below).



Status:
Mural is real - description is false

Example:(Submitted, September 2007)
Subject: FW: Men's Restroom "Mural"

Too good not to share!

Men's Restroom "Mural" Read before looking at picture

Edge Designs is an all-women run company that designs interior office space.They had a recent opportunity to do an office project in NYC The client allowed the women of this company a free hand in all design aspects.The client was a company that was also run by women execs..........

The result, well, we all know that men never talk, never look at each other and never laugh much in the restroom....The men's room is a serious and quiet place.....

But now...with the addition of one mural on the wall......

Everything has changed ...

Men's Restroom Mural




Commentary:
This rather startling photograph of a mural above the urinals in a men's room has been circulating via email and online since 2005. The mural depicted in the photograph is real. However, the current version of the message includes a description that is totally false and was apparently tacked onto the photograph at some point during its journey through cyberspace.

The description claims that an "all-women" company called "Edge Designs" created the mural for a NYC office project. However, the mural was actually designed by Perron Developments and graces a second floor men's loo in a Sofitel hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand.

An October 2005 article on Hotel Industry News notes:
The second floor men's toilet, which services the complex's restaurants including Bezu and Fatz Cat, has been tastefully and aesthetically designed by the complex's developers Cam Marsh and Mark Perriam of Perron, and Brett Taylor of Group CDA. It features six unique individual 'stands' manufactured by Three Sixty Limited in Auckland.

But it's not the tasteful design or subtle lighting that has tongues wagging in the New Zealand resort town.

It is the six-metre long backdrop of life-size photographs featuring local models in varying poses directly behind each of the six stands - each with a full view of the action.
The shots were taken by photographer Sheena Haywood and feature models from Ican Modelling, a Queenstown agency.

It is unclear where the description's references to "Edge Designs" originated. The description and, the "all-women run company" may have been simply made up as a fictional cover story to go with the photograph. There are several companies named "Edge Designs" located in various parts of the world. However, none that I could find bear any resemblance to the company described in the message.

Moreover, the original version of the message contained only the following, short but accurate, description:
Check out the new men's loo at the Sofitel in Queenstown NZ!
A post on the Politics in the Zeros blog also features the mural and includes a comment by Peter Dallimore of Perron Developments. In his comment, Dallimore explains how his company designed and produced the men's room wall and he dismisses the "Edge Designs" information as "totally fictitious".

Thus, the current version of this message is just one more in a long line of email forwards that contain genuine photographs that have been attached to false or inaccurate descriptions.

References:
Perron Developments
Sofitel Queenstown
Queenstown, New Zealand Hotel Unzips Eye-opening New Loo
Politics in the Zeros: Men's restroom mural

Last updated: 24th September 2007
First published: 24th September 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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