Off the wall

08. 782NEWS

The mural that was. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

THE Mary Street mural is gone.

The mural was painted on the Soto Espresso building by local artists Konfucius, Destroy and Idol, who donated their time and materials. Vincent city council kicked in $1000.

But Soto closed early this year and Cantina 663 owners Alex Cuccovia and Michael Forde along with Paul Aron and John Little from El Publico are planning to turn the building into a bakery.

Mr Aron said the mural was “not going to work with what we’re doing there” and it had to go. He said it was “a beautiful big piece of community art” but noted the landlord wasn’t consulted on the piece and didn’t want it.

Online some public art fans planned a boycott, while others predicted the wall would be vandalised once the mural went.

Mr Cuccovia was unhappy with the Voice’s coverage of the reaction, saying he would never advertise in the paper.

Konfucius, aka Ben Witherick, took to Facebook to eulogise the mural.

“The nature of street art, graff, whatever you want to call it, is that nothing lasts forever.

“You’ve got to be prepared to deal with whatever’s thrown at it, your work can get capped, buffed, destroyed, or in this case, removed all together.

“There has been a lot of public uproar about this, some on the other hand have supported its removal. Whatever the case, we can’t sit and dwell and get angry about it, we have to look at the positives that came of this mural and only aim for bigger and better things.”

“Even though it was only up for a short amount of time, I know it brought people together and made people happy.”

He said one of the artists who painted it is dealing with his mother’s recent death, and the mural had “made her proud that her son was making a positive impact in the community.

“So for that reason alone, the time and effort spent painting it was worth it for the happiness it brought to her.”

by DAVID BELL

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