Zacharevic to repaint fading iconic artwork, says Wong

Photo op: A tourist taking a photo of the Children on a Bicycle mural along Armenian Street, which has seen better days and is fading, in George Town, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s beloved street mural, Children on a Bicycle, will be given a fresh coat of paint by the original artist himself.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic has agreed to restore the iconic mural, which has faded away with time.

“We are working with his lawyer on the details.

“There are still many tourists queuing up to take photos in front of the mural along Armenian Street.

“There has been feedback from the business owners in that area that his mural is one of the main attractions there.

“It brings in the crowd and they patronise shops in that area because of that mural, and this has created economic value to the neighbourhood,” he added.

While other murals also need touching up, he said the priority is the bicycle mural.

“The rest are subject to further discussions,” said Wong, adding that the state government had previously contacted Zacharevic’s lawyer to discuss the matter, but he was abroad at the time.

“He recently returned to Penang and when he discussed the matter, he immediately promised to help restore the mural,” he said.

Painted on the wall of a shophouse on Armenian Street here, it is one of the two murals along that street painted by Zacharevic in conjunction with the 2012 George Town Festival.

It depicts a little girl taking her younger brother on a bicycle ride.

The beloved mural has seen millions of tourists posing for pictures with it, with many “sitting” on the bicycle to make it seem like they are joining the children on the ride.

Married to a Malaysian, Zacharevic, who has been travelling around the world for work, was here to launch a new artwork in Penang, as well as to hold an exhibition.

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