ST. LOUIS – A local bookshop is sending a message about censorship.

A new mural is on display outside “Dunaway Books” on S. Grand Boulevard.

The nearly 20-by-20-foot work of art was a collaboration between St. Louis artist Dave Ruggeri and Dunaway Books’ owners Kevin Twellman and Claudia Brodie.

The mural was inspired by recent actions taken by state and local leaders to ban or challenge books in classrooms and libraries.

“I’m taken by the irony, for example, two of the titles, being ‘A Handsmaid Tale’ and ‘1984.’ Which are dystopian stories about what it’s like to live in an authoritarian regime. And what do authoritarians do? They ban books!” Twellman told Pulse of St. Louis host Jasmine Huda.

The state of Missouri has banned nearly 300 titles at schools throughout the state, ever since a new law took effect last summer.

“The thinking was to bring awareness to what’s going on with all the rules and laws about banned and challenged books,” Ruggeri said. “I wanted to have a public place, so people can go and see it, so they can examine it and take pictures with it. And have a larger discussion about what’s going on.”