Not again ?
Word on the street is that Lithuania-born street artist Ernest Zacharevic‘s public artworks are being targeted by vandals, and it’s not the first time. Ernest, who worked hard at creating a series of street art murals and installations depicting scenes of everyday Malaysian life in Penang, Malaysia, intended for them to be a surprise in secluded spots.
Before 2012, the town had no public art or graffiti that allowed the local and tourists alike to interact with the works. These “spots” in and around Penang town have since become popular photography spots.
Unfortunately, despite drawing large crowds to the iconic murals, not everyone has been showing the same level of respect and appreciation for Ernest’s works.
In 2015, the murals along Campbell Street and Armenian Street were spray painted with ”#4.0” in yellow. One of the said murals was Ernest’s “Little Children on a Bicycle”. As a result, George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) had to work with Ernest to get rid of the yellow paint and salvage his work. In January this year, Ernest went back to Penang to retouch and restore his paintings.
Sadly, the murals are once again being vandalised – splattered with wax, splashed with curry, spray-painted yellow, and covered with advertisements.
The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Conservation Department director Noorhanis Noordin said that the council had already spent 25% of its RM100,000 annual maintenance allocation to restore vandalised street art this year. “We will usually remove the unwanted marks before contacting the artist to come back and help restore the damaged part,” she said, adding that MBPP is also planning to place additional surveillance cameras along the roads with street art.