Central Leader : March 4th 2011
www.centralleader.co.nz Friday, March 4, 2011 Action off the wall Dull wall: Vansankan bar owner John Brunton is shocked to find Auckland Council contractors have painted over a decade-old mural on the side of his building without consent. Photo: JASON OXENHAM Former glory: The Poynton Tce mural before it was painted over. By SCOTT MORGAN WHEN is graffiti art? It's a question the Auck- land Council struggled to answer after its contractors painted over a popular mural that was in place for more than a decade on Poynton Tce, near Karangahape Rd. The mural was on the side of the Vansankan karaoke bar and was developed by artists over the years. Bar owner John Brunton was shocked to find it gone early last week even though it had his and the building owner's permission to be there. It was a little bit like the graffiti gestapo turned up. It was painted over during the day and the bar opens at 9pm,'' he says. We've had no communi- cation with the council. It's amazing they can waste so much money painting over it and then have to paint it again.'' The council's website says graffiti art, or bombing, is permitted if the building's owners give consent. Mr Brunton says the mural was a popular spot for people to visit. Over the last 12 months that we've owned the busi- ness, I've seen people stand- ing outside there numerous times getting their photos taken. I have no doubt it's an attraction to the area. The mural was very avant garde and fitted the K Rd cul- ture. It was a great piece in just the right location.'' The K Rd Business Associ- ation has also been nega- tively affected after printing about 10,000 pamphlets highlighting art in the area with the mural on the front cover. They were to be handed out during the Rugby World Cup. It's obvious that if the business association makes it their front page, the com- munity feels quite strongly about it,'' precinct manager Barbara Holloway says. I'm not sure what was going on.'' Art commentator Hamish Keith says the council should have known better because there's a big difference between tagging and bombing. Tagging is like scribbling on a school book. Bombing is a new art -- some of it is good and some of it is not so good, but it does have some relevance,'' he says. Council manager for com- munity development and partnerships Kevin Marriott says painting over the mural was a genuine mistake. The council is taking full responsibility to rectify the situation and install a new artwork as soon as possible,'' he says. Council contractors mis- takenly painted over this mural after a request by an Auckland Council anti- graffiti volunteer,'' Mr Marriott says. The council was under the impression that the business owner wanted the work removed.'' He says officers have already met to discuss how the matter will be resolved. Original artist Elliot O'Donnell, otherwise known as Askew, may be involved in painting a replacement mural. Mr Marriott says such errors are rare and the council's partnership with volunteers working on graffiti removal programme has been successful.
March 2nd 2011
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