Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Art is the Victim in Crime-ridden JB

The Johor Bahru City Council is expected to remove three murals painted by an internationally-recognized street artist, following a controversy over one mural that addresses the high crime rate in the city – which, by the way, is so true! 

However, city mayor Ismail Karim said, all the three murals by Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic will be removed as they were painted at inappropriate places, China Press reported yesterday. 

Earlier, Malaysiakini reported that Zacharevic – better known as Zachas – defended his mural, which has been criticized by the state government has having ‘tarnished’ the city’s image. "Art does not damage a city's image, crime does," rebutted Zacharevic in an email response on Sunday. 

The artist was reportedly invited to the city to put up his artwork, and contributed three pieces earlier this month. The ‘contentious’ mural, dubbed ‘JB, home of Malaysia's very own Legoland’, shows Lego figures portraying an armed robber lying in wait to rob from a woman carrying a Chanel handbag.

I agree with Zacharevic! Why blame the art – after all, it reflects the real JB, does it not? We should not delete the art – instead, we should work to delete crime! 

A Malaysiakini news article dated today claims that Johore has the third highest number of crimes committed per 10,000 people, after Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. And seventy percent of the state's crime is committed in JB City, Johor police reportedly said.

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