Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New lines drawn in graffiti war

The owner of an inner-city wall at the centre of a graffiti war says no one had permission to paint it.
Glenda Yuen-Chai has been kept in the dark over a controversial mural painted on the side of the building she co-owns at 164 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley.
Brisbane City Council painted over the work two days later under its anti-graffiti crackdown.

But councillor David Hinchliffe says international artist Anthony Lister was privately commissioned to spray the wall by the owner of the neighbouring vacant block of land.
Cr Hinchliffe claims council's anti-graffiti taskforce trespassed onto the site, owned by company Forwin, and illegally covered up the mural.
Council's Families and Community Services Chair Geraldine Knapp said the taskforce had an agreement with the building owners to clean off graffiti by accessing the vacant block via a council owned lock.
When contacted by brisbanetimes.com.au today, Ms Yuen-Chai said she was not aware of a mural or an agreement with council.
"I haven't been informed, I know nothing about it," Ms Yuen-Chai said.
She confirmed she did not give permission for the mural or for council to automatically wipe it clean.
"That's my wall. I don't even know about this," she said. "There's no agreement between anybody."
No one from Forwin was available to comment.
But Cr Hinchliffe said the company believed it had a right to paint the wall because it bordered its property.
"Forwin took the view that the wall is a joint wall and that they have qualified access to it from their property, like painting a fence," Cr Hinchliffe said.
Lord Mayor Campbell Newman criticised Cr Hinchliffe for encouraging the graffiti artwork without consulting the building owner.
“I find it absolutely appalling that a councillor, David Hinchliffe, who has been around for 22 years, would actively encourage people to undertake illegal graffiti work around the city,” Cr Newman said.
A proposal for the mural should have been presented to council for approval, he said.
“The point is, if Cr Hinchliffe had come to council with the property owner who said a) I am commissioning an object of urban art, and b) I give my full permission for it to happen and c) they said they were paying in cash or kind, I would have no problem with that," Cr Newman said.
“But none of those things have happened here and the graffiti removal teams were perfectly within their rights to go in there and remove the graffiti.
“I point out they got in because they had a key to the gate because they have had to do this before.”
Cr Hinchliffe said private owners did not require permission to paint their property.
"Of course the Lord Mayor is trying to avoid the responsibility of council officers trespassing on private property," he said.
The relevant legislation provided to brisbanetimes.com.au by Queensland Police states graffiti is illegal "if the property in question is in a public place, or is visible from a public place".


Taken from: Brisbane Times

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