Building owners listen to artlovers' concerns

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
Huatoki Plaza
Fairfax NZ
UNCOVERED: The mural on a building in the Huatoki Plaza.

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A billboard partially obscuring a mural in New Plymouth is to be moved to appease art lovers.

The Harcourts advertising hoarding in the Huatoki Plaza covers a third of a mural on the Collier Building.

The building is part-owned by Harcourts owner John Christiansen.

"Although it is a private building and the artists were aware that eventually the space would be used for something else, Harcourts and the building owner have listened to the public and decided to move the billboard," Harcourts Taranaki said on its Facebook page.

The issue came to light last week when the Taranaki Daily News reported some people were annoyed the signage was covering the mural which was a collaboration between Taranaki artist Mikaere Gardiner aka Eno and Austrian artist Knarf.

An unscientific poll on the Taranaki Daily News website asking readers what they thought of the billboard covering the artwork, found more than 55 per cent of the 545 respondents agreed the owners should be allowed to cover the mural with the advertising billboard.

Comments on the Daily News Facebook page were split between people for and against the billboard.

Belinda Cooper wondered why the billboard was not put on an unpainted part of the building.

Gardiner, one of the mural's creators, confirmed he was aware of the possibility the mural could be covered by advertising before he painted the wall.

"I certainly prefer the building without the billboard there I must say," he added.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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