The Lego Mural: Hated by JB City Council, Loved by the People!

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The Weekly Runner, Friday supplement of the Malay Mail, had a two-page article on Lithuanian artist Eric Zacharevic, the artist who painted street murals in Penang and the Lego Mural in JB.

Simon Thong Wee Hing, blogging as weehingthong@wordpress, was mentioned. That’s me.

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Like This Page · 3 hours ago

(新山20日訊)爾納斯壁畫不可出現新山?!
立陶宛籍畫家爾納斯在新山的新作“樂高姐弟共騎”壁畫,腳車于今早11時50分被新山市政局執法組拆除后,今午5時許,整幅壁畫的涂鴉字眼全用“黑漆”清除。
“樂高姐弟共騎”只得一天“壽命”,比舊作“轉角遇到匪”更短。

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Like This Page · 5 hours ago

不只拆腳車,壁畫也被塗掉了!

新山市政局人員週五下午5時30分,使用黑漆清除整幅樂高姐弟共騎壁畫。

哎呀,需要這麼大陣仗嗎?

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Liked · 3 hours ago

YOU CAN TAKE OUR BIKE, BUT YOU CAN NOT TAKE OUR… CAR! Johor Bahru, Taman Molek, opens February 2014

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Star

Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 5:29:42 PM

Paint all you want but get permission, JB mayor tells Zacharevic

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) has no issues with graffiti artist Ernest Zacharevic if he wants to display his creativity on walls of commercial properties.

However, his work should not portray negatively of Johor Baru or promote products or services, said Mayor Ismail Karim.

“On top of that, he must get permission from the owners of the buildings before he start his work,” Ismail told a press conference on Friday.

Ismail said MBJB would repaint the wall where Zacharevic had painted a Lego woman and a boy riding a bicycle on a wall at Jalan Pahang as the artist did not get permission from the owner to draw.

He said that MBJB would send a notice to inform the building’s owner that MBJB would repaint the wall.

Paint all you want but get permission, JB mayor tells Zacharevic

Malaysian Insider

Council removes Lithuanian artist Zacharevic’s latest drawing in Johor Baru

December 20, 2013

Ernest Zacharevic's latest drawing in Johor depicts a Lego woman and Lego boy on a bicycle. – Ernest Zacharevic Facebook pic, December 20, 2013.Ernest Zacharevic’s latest drawing in Johor depicts a Lego woman and Lego boy on a bicycle. – Ernest Zacharevic Facebook pic, December 20, 2013.

Part of Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s second drawing in Johor was removed today by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) after it drew the local authorities’ ire.

The 27-year-old’s previous graffiti in the city, depicting a robber waiting for a victim, made headlines in November. It was later removed.

His latest work features a Lego woman and a boy on a mounted bicycle and was painted on a wall in Jalan Dhoby in the city centre. The authorities removed the bicycle.

Council removes Lithuanian artist Zacharevic’s latest drawing in Johor Baru

Star

Published: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 3:44:00 PM
Updated: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 6:09:54 PM

Graffiti artist Zacharevic returns to Johor Baru

Zacharevic's latest wall art in Jalan Dhoby

Zacharevic’s latest wall art in Jalan Dhoby

JOHOR BARU: Graffiti artist Ernest Zacharevic, whose Taman Molek wall art depicting a robber waiting for his victim drew the ire of the local authority, made a comeback with another drawing in Jalan Pahang here.

His latest work showed a woman riding a bicycle together with a boy.

Zacharevic had posted a picture of his latest work on his Facebook page at around 3pm and the picture generated more than 550 likes and 54 shares within 20 minutes.

Fans of his work were all excited, wanting to know the exact location of the painting. Some thanked him for making a return.

Graffiti artist Zacharevic returns to Johor Baru

THE LEGO MURAL SPREADS BEYOND JOHOR BARU!

1 Cut-outs appear in Rawang and KL.
2 Tee-shirts with the replicas on the back and front cost RM20 each.

17 Nov

They got rid of Zacharevic’s Lego mural but more of them have now emerged:

3 On Facebook, at least 16,700 users were provided with links that enabled them to download and print the Lego characters.

Star

Friday November 22, 2013 MYT 7:59:34 AM

Mural replicas go unnoticed – until now

Not the real thing: Hamidah and Mohd Airul sharing a light moment near the replicas of Zacharevic’s famous robbery mural at Jalan Rawang.

Not the real thing: Hamidah and Mohd Airul sharing a light moment near the replicas of Zacharevic’s famous robbery mural at Jalan Rawang.

RAWANG: “Copies” of Ernest Zacharevic’s famed “Lego man” robbery mural in Taman Jati, Rawang, have gone largely unnoticed.

Hafizah Ismail, 29, had no idea one of the painted murals was at the wall of the alley behind the stationery shop she works at.

“Nobody ever walks through the back,” she said, adding that there were frequent snatch thefts.

“There are a lot of rompak (snatch theft) cases along the main road,” she said.

The mural is located behind a row of shops and banks.

Mural replicas go unnoticed – until now

Star

Thursday November 21, 2013 MYT 7:30:49 AM

Johor mural cut-outs being plastered in KL too

Mizi Ismail (left), 35, and Bee Abdullah, 33, taking photographs of the controversial ‘lego’ cut-outs at a food outlet in Kuala Lumpur.

Mizi Ismail (left), 35, and Bee Abdullah, 33, taking photographs of the controversial ‘lego’ cut-outs at a food outlet in Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA: Cut-out figures of the graffiti by artist Ernest Zacharevic are not just a feature in Johor Baru – many are also being plastered in other parts of the country.

Checks showed that the cut-outs were plastered at various places such as Rawang and Kuala Lumpur.

A co-owner of a food outlet in Kua­la Lumpur, who wanted to be known as Ken, said there was no need to make a hoo-ha over the painting.

“We put it up for fun as it’s just an artwork,” said the 29-year-old.

Johor mural cut-outs being plastered in KL too

QUESTION:  WILL THE JB CITY COUNCIL SHOW MORE ZEAL IN TEARING DOWN LEGO MURAL CUT-OUTS THAN REMOVING ‘ALONG’ ADVERTS?

YES, THEY HAVE GIVEN A WARNING: REMOVE THEM OR ELSE!

Blogger: I suspect that the JB City Council hated the mural simply because Lim Guan Eng and Penang welcomed the murals of Ernest Zacharevic with open arms.

See: Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic: Fame in Penang, Infamy in JB

Malaysian Insider

Johor menteri besar must end Zacharevic street mural saga, says DAP

November 19, 2013

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin should instruct the Johor Baru Municipal Council (MBJB) to bring the Ernest Zacharevic saga to an end as it is getting out of hand, said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

He said the council had been harassing tenants and landowners in Taman Molek and given them a week to remove paper cut-outs of Zacharevic’s street murals, which were pasted on walls outside their buildings or risk being slapped with a RM500 compound for vandalism.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/johor-menteri-besar-must-end-zacharevic-street-mural-saga-says-dap

JB CITY COUNCIL’S little napoleons warn: remove all Lego Mural cut-outs!

Star

Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 7:02:25 AM

Remove all paper cut-outs in one week, council warns tenants

JOHOR BARU: Tenants and landowners have one week to remove the paper cut-outs pasted on the walls outside their buildings or risk being slapped with a compound fine of RM500 by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB).

Mayor Ismail Karim said notices were issued to tenants in Taman Molek a few days ago where the cut-outs were seen on the walls replacing the original so-called offensive graffiti by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic.

He said the notices would also be issued to owners of premises where similar cut-outs have appeared, such as on the walls outside the Chinese cultural museum on Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and in an alley on Jalan Maju.

”If the tenants or shopowners fail to remove the cut-outs within one week, they will be fined a compound of RM500 and if they refuse to pay, they will be brought to court,” he told The Star here yesterday.

Remove all paper cut-outs in one week, council warns tenants

Malaysiakini

Gerakan raps local council over mural fiasco
12:45PM Nov 18, 2013

Gerakan has criticised the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) for being oversensitive with regard to the mural which depicted a Lego woman carrying a Chanel bag about to fall victim to a thief.

In a media statement, party deputy president Cheah Soon Hai said that murals can be an excellent method to express the city’s art and humanities together with the people’s thinking.

“Therefore it is unnecessary for the city council to be over sensitive; instead more communications with the public should be established to explore an appropriate method to handle this incident to go in line with the First World mentality,” he added.

Cheah also noted that Malaysia should transform and cannot afford to be stuck in the past.

Gerakan raps local council over mural fiasco

THE PEOPLE STRIKE BACK! The Lego Mural appears all over JB!

Star

Monday November 18, 2013 MYT 6:54:14 AM

Zacharevic’s Lego characters are seen plastered on walls at several locations in Johor Baru

Looks like the original: Ku pasting the cut-out of the woman character back onto the wall outside the Chinese cultural museum in Johor Baru.

Looks like the original: Ku pasting the cut-out of the woman character back onto the wall outside the Chinese cultural museum in Johor Baru.

OHOR BARU: Cut-outs of the Lego characters that were “removed” by the Johor Baru City Council have been plastered on walls in several locations here.

Aside the disused wall in Taman Molek where a so-called offensive graffiti by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic first appeared, the paper cut-outs are now seen on the walls of nearby empty shop houses.

Similar cut-outs have also ap­­peared in an alley in Jalan Maju, the city’s “newspaper street” where several offices and bureaus of the media and publication distributing agencies are located.

Some of the cut-outs, printed to the exact size of the original painting, could be seen pasted on walls in the city centre.

“I think people are pasting the cut-outs to express their unhappiness with the whitewash of the painting. But if they did not seek Zacharevic’s permission before printing and pasting the images in public, it is an infringement to the artist’s work,” he said.

Council public relations officer Aziz Ithnin, when contacted, said he would bring the matter to the attention of the mayor and the council for them to decide on further action on the cut-outs.

Zacharevic’s Lego characters are seen plastered on walls at several locations in Johor Baru

If the JB City Council regrets its rash act in whitewashing over the Lego Mural, it could always commission the artist to draw it again, and pay him. However, it is highly unlikely as these are little napoleons…

The latest development: The little napoleons want to win over the people by designating a special place for grafitti. That sounds great except that you must first get the council’s approval and draw only what is approved.

Can you draw anything related to crime in JB? NO, OF COURSE NOT!

YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA

After Lego mural fiasco, Johor Bahru mulls rule-driven graffiti wall

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Johor Bahru authorities are considering creating a special graffiti wall to allow street art, albeit subject to their approval, after the debacle over a Lego mural highlighting the problem of crime.

The Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) confirmed today that they are currently looking for a suitable place for the graffiti wall, stressing that the drawings on the wall must not disturb the sensitivities of other races and religions in the multi-cultural country.

“Whoever wants to draw at that special place must get approval from MBJB,” Abdul Aziz Ithnin, MBJB corporate communications and public relations director, told The Malay Mail Online today.

“The pictures that are to be drawn must be suitable for Malaysians…they can’t just draw anything they like. If it’s not suitable, and if school kids see it, that’s not good either,” he added

He said that the authorities welcomed art that attracted tourists, such as themes of nature, green campaigns and cleanliness education campaigns, among others.

http://my.news.yahoo.com/lego-mural-fiasco-johor-bahru-mulls-rule-driven-091200795.html

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Here are some of the views of  MALAYSIAKINI readers.

Malaysiakini

Johor Bahru should clean up crime, not murals
8:46AM Nov 17, 2013

VOXPOP ‘Instead of whitewashing walls, shouldn’t the city council be focussed on eradicating crime and solving other problems that plague Johor Bahru?’

Anonymous #07910507: Instead of ‘whitewashing’ walls, shouldn’t the city council and all of the authorities be focussed on eradicating crime and solving other problems that plague Johor Bahru?
Or is wiping out a work of art easier than doing real work?

It is something city councils around the country seem to have trouble with ‑ real work. In addition I think city councils are misguided in thinking that they serve their political masters. They should be serving the rakyat.

Another reason why this country needs to go back to having city council elections.

Kafkaonthepeninsula: Hey big brother, inane censorship of art and truth does not work any more in this age. It just draws attention to the censored stuff and shows how pathetic you are.

Headhunter: Typical idiotic knee‑jerk reaction by dull-witted people who can’t tell the difference between humour, art and reality. They think putting plastic palm trees along the road is art. Had Picasso been alive today and painted a mural in the same manner, they would probably whitewash it too, claiming it was graffiti.

By the same token, shouldn’t they remove all signage warning people of snatch thieves and so on as they also give the same impression that Johor is not safe? This country is totally hopeless because we have so many idiots running it.

Paul Warren: They hurriedly take this mural down, and yet all the bills pasted by the Ah Longs are rarely taken down and better still, they can easily track them down and charge them, yet nothing is done. Why? They get a cut of the takings as well. Prove me wrong please, local council and police.

Old Timer: The government tries to hide the truth by whitewashing the painting? Unfortunately, for the government, many evils (eg corruption, election gerrymandering, suppression of human rights, inequality, cronyism etc etc) cannot be whitewashed.

James1067: The truth is the truth and you can rewrite, erase or even put a lid on it. It will rise up to remind and prick your conscience of what is wrong and what needs to be put right. So stop trying to close or wipe it out but face the reality that crime is still not under control and the public is sending you a message.

Clean up the city and the mural will be history, otherwise it will be your nightmare.

Kinikid: The artist said, “Art does not damage a city’s image, crime does.” I say, “Art does not damage a city’s image, the act of removing the art does.”

Johor Bahru should clean up crime, not murals

Star

Sunday November 17, 2013 MYT 8:45:49 AM

Whitewashing Zacharevic’s art an over-reaction, says MP

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru City Council’s action in whitewashing the graffiti of Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic has been described by Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad as “an over-reaction and misinterpretation”.

The veteran MP felt that the artist could just be commenting on topical social issues and not “painting” Johor Baru as a crime haven.

“I was actually looking forward to see if other artists would add more on the wall to tell a story.

Defending Zacharevic, Shahrir said police had managed to bring down the crime rate here and he believed the artist only intended to remind the public to be vigilant at all times.

He also applauded the artwork of another on the same wall, depicting a policeman with handcuffs approaching a robber.

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/11/17/Shahrir-defends-JB-graffiti-Whitewashing-Zacharevics-art-an-overreaction-says-MP.aspx

THE LEGO MURAL MAKES IT TO NEWSPAPERS ALL OVER THE WORLD!

*news.com.au

Malaysian authorities paint over Ernest Zacharevic’s Lego mural over fears it will hurt tourism

November 13, 2013 11:33PM

Lego mural

A boy poses for pictures with a mural by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, which shows a Lego woman with a Chanel bag , a Lego robber armed with a knife and a Lego cop in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Source: AFP

A STREET mural depicting a mugging involving two Lego figures has been white-washed on the orders of angry authorities in a Malaysian border city known for its crime rate and a Legoland theme park.

Officials in Johor Baru, which borders on Singapore, ordered the mural by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic be painted over because it harmed the city’s reputation.

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/malaysian-authorities-paint-over-ernest-zacharevics-lego-mural-over-fears-it-will-hurt-tourism/story-e6frfq80-122675937598

*International Business Times

Lego Mural By ‘Malaysia’s Banksy’ Ernest Zacharevic Sparks Crime Debate In Tourist Town

By

On November 13 2013 9:07 PM

Across the water from overly orderly Singapore lies the Malaysian border city of Johor Baru, a place best known internationally for its crime and for its newest attraction, Asia’s only Legoland theme park. This week, the city has made waves on the Internet for both reasons thanks to a Lego mural that depicts a street mugger and his victim. It was painted the night of Nov. 7 by 27-year-old Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian-born Malaysian resident who’s a well-known artist in the region and has been touted as “Malaysia’s Banksy.”

Johor Baru officials whitewashed the mural Wednesday after a photo of it went viral online, saying it would harm the city’s reputation. In the mural (above), a woman drawn in the style of the popular Danish toy is seen carrying a Chanel bag as she walks around a corner toward a black-clad, knife-wielding Lego bandit.

An official with the Johor Baru City Council told AFP that Zacharevic’s use of a public street corner as his canvas amounted to vandalism. “The robber gives an image that is not good for our country, investment and tourism,” Aziz Ithnin said. “Everybody will be scared.”

Lego Mural By ‘Malaysia’s Banksy’ Sparks Crime Debate

*ABC News

Lego Mural Draws Ire of Malaysian Authorities

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A street mural has become the subject of controversy in a Malaysian border city, with local officials complaining that it paints the area in a negative light. But some contend the image reveals an ugly truth.

Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic used a public street corner in Johar Bahru as his canvas to depict two Lego characters pre-robbery. In the mural, a Lego woman carrying a Chanel bag is walking down the street, while around the corner a Lego robber waits with knife in hand.

Lego Mural Draws Ire of Malaysian Authorities

*Global Post

‘Lego’ mural drives Malaysian authorities up a wall

A street mural depicting a mugging involving two Lego figures was white-washed Wednesday on the orders of angry authorities in a Malaysian border city known for its crime rate and a Legoland theme park.

Officials in Johor Baru, which borders on Singapore, ordered the mural by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic be painted over because it harmed the city’s reputation.

Legomural drives Malaysian authorities up a wall | GlobalPost

*Asian Correspondent.com

Crime-themed Lego mural causes a storm in Johor Bahru

By Nov 13, 2013 12:27PM UTC

A plan to spruce up the streets of the Malaysian border town of Johor Bahru with street art has come unstuck after authorities took exception to a Lego-themed mural which they believe tarnishes the city’s image.

http://asiancorrespondent.com/115795/crime-themed-lego-mural-causes-a-storm-in-johor-bahru/

A local business owner, who declined to be named, said if the graffiti were still there, this crime would not have happened as the “grafitti” had attracted a lot of people to the area daily.

Star

Saturday November 16, 2013 MYT 8:07:12 AM

Woman falls victim to snatch thieves at graffiti site

JOHOR BARU: A woman got her handbag snatched during a robbery, metres away from the “Lego man” grafitti site.

The incident occurred when two men on a motorcycle stole the woman’s bag at 7.30pm on Thursday. The victim was also injured.

A local business owner, who declined to be named, said if the graffiti were still there, this crime would not have happened as the “grafitti” had attracted a lot of people to the area daily.

“However, this place is now quiet since the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) officers painted over the grafitti,” she said, hoping for more police presence in the area.

Woman falls victim to snatch thieves at graffiti site

Malaysiakini

JB mural clones spring up, even on T-shirts
2:00PM Nov 16, 2013

The Johor Bahru City Council may have hastily removed the controversial mural depicting a lady about to be mugged, but it appears to have spawned at least 10 reincarnations of the increasingly popular artwork.

jb mural duplicate 161113 01According to an anonymous local who spoke to Malaysiakini today, the lego character with the channel bag and the mugger around the corner have shown up on not just the city’s walls, but also on vans and even T-shirts.

He reported that people have put up stickers of the mural in Sutra Mall, Perling, Taman Molek and Bukit Indah among others.

Netizens have also posted their photos of the clones on Facebook, and one is even selling the T-shirts online.

The T-shirts come in a pair, one with the victim and the other with the mugger, both carrying the original street artist Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic’s comment, “Art does not damage a city’s image” and “Crime does” respectively.

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‘More murals needed’

The photos of the clones were also posted on the Facebook of DAP Gelang Patah, its veteran leader Lim Kit Siang’s constituency, where one netizen suggested these stickers be put up all over the country where robbers have struck.

JB mural clones spring up, even on T-shirts

Malaysiakini

Erased JB mural was a ‘hit’ among locals
8:08AM Nov 16, 2013

The reappearance of the copies of the controversial Johor Bahru mural featuring a woman carrying a Chanel bag being awaited by a ready-to-strike robber in some parts of the city shows that the mural has struck a chord with local residents.

The Johor Bahru City Council removed the original mural in Taman Molek on Wednesday on grounds that it was painted at an “inappropriate place” and in deference to the state government’s claim that it could taint the city’s image.

However a number of local residents interviewed by citizen journalist Fung Lee-Jean just before the street artwork was painted over by city council workers, begged to differ.

Many said that having such a painting in their neighbourhood was positive and a poignant reminder of the city’s crime problems.

“(In) my view, it’s good (as it creates) awareness among the people (about snatch theft),” said a local man. “I agree with this.”

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Zacharevic drew his inspiration for his work from the city’s alarming crime rate.

The artist, who rose to fame after similar street mural paintings in George Town, Penang, which have since become a major attraction among the locals and tourists alike, said it was up to the local community to decide the fate of the paintings.

“Johor Bahru has a lot to offer. I think this town really needs more art, not only from me, but young emerging Malaysian artists as well,” Zacharevic said as he expressed his intention to return to the city to do more murals.

Erased JB mural was a ‘hit’ among locals

IT’S BACK! THE LEGO MURAL IS BACK IN AT LEAST THREE PLACES IN JB!

Liked · 9 hours ago

and the saga continues… ( ;

The now famous wall at Taman Molek later yesterday evening. After authorities whitewashed away the graffiti it had a curious way of coming back to life to haunt them!

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It is now a tourist attraction!

Star

Friday November 15, 2013 MYT 6:34:24 AM

Visitors from Singapore flock to see graffiti

JOHOR BARU: Many people, including those from Singapore, are still flocking to see the graffiti at Taman Molek here, unaware that the work on the wall is actually cut-out stickers of Ernest Zacharevic’s original painting.

The cut-outs were put in several places in Taman Molek within hours of the original being painted over at about 4pm on Wednesday. However, by noon yesterday, the cut-outs at the original site had been removed.

A Singaporean businessman, known only as Lim, said he decided to see the graffiti after reading about it on the Internet.

“I did not know that it had been removed, and that this is a paper cut-out,” he said, adding that he was still happy as it looked like the real one.

Meanwhile, M.H Goh, 35, who works in Singapore, said that although it was a form of art, it still portrayed Johor in a negative way.

“Maybe the artist can come up with some positive paintings for other parts of the city,” he added.

Visitors from Singapore flock to see graffiti

Malaysiakini

Zachas mural reappears in several JB spots
11:45AM Nov 14, 2013

Less than 24 hours after the controversial Johor Bahru mural by Ernest Zacharevic was whitewashed by the city council, the Lego figures have come back on the walls of the city.

Interestingly, the figures have not only reappeared at the Taman Molek corner, where they were originally painted, but also in several other locations in Johor Bahru.

Photos uploaded online show that both the Lego mugger and Lego woman are at three separate street corners in the Johor capital.

However, it is believed that the figures are not painted on, as before, but pasted on as stickers.

At the Taman Molek location, for example, the revived figures have a different dimension than the original. It is not known who is behind the stickers.

“Last night someone pasted the sticker again and after that, the mural appeared in other locations,” activist Koh Wee Sun says in her Facebook posting.

Zachas mural reappears in several JB spots

Liked · 5 hours ago

Oh no ): now they’re going after the other street art pieces by Ernest.. this time targeting the ones near Am Bank in Ros Merah.

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GONE!THE MURAL IS GONE!

Malaysiakini

Lego ‘cop’ fails to prevent removal of JB mural

Even the newly-added Lego policeman could not ‘protect’ Ernest Zacharevic’s ‘crime’ mural, with Johor Bahru City Council workers painting over the artwork today.

An initial picture uploaded on popular Internet forum ‘JB Talks’ showed that the Lego ‘mugger’ had been whitewashed, with paint-rollers closing in to send the Lego ‘cop’ into oblivion as well.

Another photograph revealed that all three Lego figures – the woman carrying a Chanel bag, the mugger and policeman – had been painted over

Lego ‘cop’ fails to prevent removal of JB mural

THE MURAL NOW HAS THREE FIGURES, NOT TWO! A COP HAS JOINED THE WOMAN AND THE ROBBER!

However, not everyone thinks that the cop is there to save the woman.

For the more cynical ones, it seems that the Lego woman now has two thieves to deal with: the robber and the ‘robber’ behind him!

Malaysiakini

Cop ‘joins’ Zachas’ JB mural to ‘pounce’ on robber

Local artists have added a Lego policeman to the controversial Johor Bahru mural by artist Ernest Zacharevic – a move that appears to soften the message and possibly, save the mural.

With his eyes set on a Lego woman carrying a Chanel handbag, the Lego mugger appears unaware that an police officer – complete with handcuffs – is ready to nab him.

It is unclear who the local artists behind the addition are, but according to the photograh uploaded by Zacharevic on his Facebook page, duo worked on the mural last night.

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“Now that’s a true vandalism! Malaysia never fails to amuse me,” Zacharevic quipped in his caption.

A number of those commenting on the mural’s expansion were not too amused.

Some apologised to the Lithuanian-born artist for “spoiling” his work, while others were cross that Zacharevic saw the extension to his work as “vandalism”.

Others, however, saw it as an attempt to save the art of Zacharevic so it would not be removed by the Johor Bahru City Council as planned.

Cop ‘joins’ Zachas’ JB mural to ‘pounce’ on robber

A WAR OF WORDS HAS STARTED, AND PERHAPS, THERE WILL BE ACTION, REACTION AND BAD FEELINGS ALL AROUND. SOMEONE MAY GET SUED, TOO!

This Lego Mural appeared on the wall of a private building in Johor Bahru. It shows a Lego man brandishing a knife, waiting to rob a Lego woman with a branded handbag.

It was painted by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevi.

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SOME BIG SHOTS ARE ANGRY, TO SAY THE LEAST!

Johor executive councillor, Tee Siew Kiong, said that it put the city in a bad light.

Later, JB mayor, Ismail Karim, warned that he would remove the mural soon because it was inappropriate.

OK, says the artist. He replaced the knife with a bunch of flowers.

Like This Page · 22 hours ago

Politically correct version – there is nothing that flowers could not cover!

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The graffiti by Zacharevic has sparked a debate, especially among netizens, on its meaning and impact to Johor.

Star

Tuesday November 12, 2013 MYT 7:18:08 AM

Council to seek expert views

One for the album: People waiting to take candid shots with the wall graffiti by Zacharevic at Taman Molek in Johor Baru.

One for the album: People waiting to take candid shots with the wall graffiti by Zacharevic at Taman Molek in Johor Baru.

OHOR BARU: The Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) will seek “expert views” on the wall graffiti by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic before taking any action on the matter.

Its public relations officer Aziz Ithnin said the council had yet to receive any official complaint about the graffiti in Taman Molek, which depicted a knife-holding man, preying on a victim around the corner.

Aziz said that MBJB would usually act immediately when it discovered vandalism on public buildings.

For instance, he said, the council would paint over the wall that had been vandalised.

“But if it is a privately owned building, then we would ask the owners to repaint the affected section,” he said yesterday.

Aziz also acknowledged that Zacharevic’s artwork might cause a negative perception of the city.

Council to seek expert views

Free Malaysia Today

‘If mural is bad, what about pickpocket signs?’

Leven Woon | November 12, 2013

Two local councillors say if MBJB was to blame the Lego mural for tarnishing the city’s image, then it must also remove the many signs that say, “beware of pickpocket”.

PETALING JAYA: If a mural depicting a Lego man brandishing a knife, waiting to rob a Lego woman with a branded handbag is deemed to tarnish the city’s image, then the Johor Bahru City Council must remove all signages that say, “beware of pickpocket” or “beware of snatch thieves.”

The mural, which Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic painted on a private building last week, came under fire from the Johor executive councillor Tee Siew Kiong, which he said placed the city in a bad light.

This was followed by JB mayor Ismail Karim’s warning yesterday that he would remove the mural soon because it was inappropriate.

To support their stand that the council’s decision did not hold water, Petaling Jaya City Council councillor Derek Fernandez and Ampang Jaya Municipal Council councillor Keppy Wong said there were also many signages in Malaysia that warned the public of crimes in the area.

“Sometimes if you walk into a shopping centre, you will see a sign ‘beware of car theft’ or ‘beware of pickpocket – would you take that as an act of tarnishing the city image?” Wong asked.

Fernandez said even the government had put up signages to alert the public that crime was rampant in the area.

“To me it is a non-issue, (the painter) was merely trying to send a social message to the public. The council shouldn’t have deemed it as offensive,” he said.

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…..

“Removing the mural doesn’t mean you can whitewash the people’s perception that JB is a crime-infested place,” he said.

Zacharevic was reported as saying that he drew the mural based on the two things that JB is known for – the Legoland theme park and the high crime rate.

“Art does not damage a city’s image, crime does,” he reportedly said.

Following the JB mayor’s statement, Zacharevic has designed an alternate version of the mural which showed the Lego man holding a bunch of flowers instead of a knife.

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“Politically-correct version – there is nothing that flowers could not cover,” he said on his facebook page today.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/11/12/mural-paints-jb-in-a-bad-light-says-official/

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3 Responses to The Lego Mural: Hated by JB City Council, Loved by the People!

  1. Pingback: Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic: Fame in Penang, Infamy in JB | weehingthong

  2. Pingback: Graffiti (γραφὴ): Moore than writing on the wall and other public places! | weehingthong

  3. Cynical says:

    That makes the Lego Man look like a seducer/rapist.

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