An artwork called " Sweep it Under the Carpet " appeared on a wall in London in around 2006. The mural, created by the famous graffiti artist Banksy, shows a maid who is sweeping some dust under the cover of a brick wall like a curtain. Banksy's creation is said to criticise the Western countries of ignoring global issues such as poverty. 

The phrase " sweep something under the carpet " first appeared in the mid-20th century, much earlier than Banksy's work. Its origin is related to housecleaning. Instead of getting a dust pan or removing the dirt into a rubbish bin, a maid or a housewife sweeps the dirt under a carpet. By doing so, she thinks that she can hide the problem. As it is a bit lazy to sweep something under the carpet, this expression always carries a negative tone. 

The idiom means to conceal something because it is unpleasant or embarrassing to deal with. For example: 

The conference urged the world leaders not to sweep the climate change issue under thecarpet

" Carpet " is more common in British English, whereas " rug " is used more in American English. 

一件題為Sweep it Under the Carpet的藝術品約於2006年出現在倫敦的一堵牆上。這幅由著名塗鴉藝術家班克斯所創作的壁畫展示,一個女僕正在把一些塵埃掃向一塊像簾幕的磚牆覆蓋物下面。班克斯的創作據說是批評西方國家漠視全球問題,例如貧窮。

Sweep something under the carpet這個語句,最初是在20世紀中旬出現,比班克斯的作品更早。它的起源與房屋打掃有關。女僕或家庭主婦不但不用簸箕或把灰塵掃進垃圾箱裡,反而把灰塵掃到地毯下面去。這樣一來,她以為自己能夠把問題掩藏起來。因為把東西掃到地毯下面是有點懶惰,所以這個說法往往含有負面語調。


大會促請世界領袖不要把氣候變化問題掩蓋起來sweep... under the carpet)。


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