Vandalised art restored

GEORGE TOWN: Two public-spirited siblings have taken the initiative to scrape off most of the wax that vandals have splattered on a popular mural in Armenian Street here.

Tan Jia Hang, 20, and his sister Jia Shin, 19, used a penknife and hot water to remove the wax on the art piece depicting a real bicycle and the images of two children painted to look like they are riding it.

The work is part of the Mirrors George Town street art project created by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic for the George Town Festival 2012.

It was reported yesterday that vandals had splattered the mural, which had become a popular backdrop for photographers and tourists in the city's heritage enclave.

Photos of the vandalism went viral on Facebook and were rapidly shared, with numerous comments condemning the act and some creative suggestions on how to incorporate the splatter into the art piece.

Jia Hang, who is pursuing a diploma in multimedia design at The One Academy, said he was sad to see the damage on the artwork.

“At first, people said it was paint and that it could not be removed.

“But that night, when my sister and I went out for dinner nearby, we walked there and found that it was just wax.

“We borrowed hot water from a coffee shop to clean the wax above the painting. We started at about 8pm and finished an hour and a half later.

“We did not remove the wax on the actual painting because we thought the artist would want to do that,” said Jia Hang when Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited the site to inspect the mural yesterday.

Jia Shin, who is studying at the Equator Academy of Art, said removing the wax was not difficult.

“We did our best to scrape it off slowly and lightly,” she said.

Lim said he was saddened about the vandalism.

“While we are upset and condemn the culprits, we are proud that Jia Hang and Jia Shin took the initiative to clean the mural,” he said.

Lim added that Zacharevic, who will be returning to Penang next month, would restore his mural.

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