Culprits tracked down as artist returns to repair vandalised Christchurch mural video

The artwork on Manchester St was presumably tagged using a fire extinguisher filled with white paint.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

The artwork on Manchester St was presumably tagged using a fire extinguisher filled with white paint.

Amateur sleuths may have tracked down the taggers who destroyed a public artwork in Christchurch's city centre.

A mural created in November 2012 on Manchester St was destroyed by a large white tag in early January. The owners of the building want the taggers responsible prosecuted.

Australian artist Ash Keating will return to Christchurch to repair his artwork on February 5 and 7.

The original artwork, called Concrete Propositions, was created by throwing, spraying and firing paint from buckets, ...
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

The original artwork, called Concrete Propositions, was created by throwing, spraying and firing paint from buckets, weed sprayers and fire extinguishers.

Gap Filler, who commissioned the work with the Christchurch Art Gallery, believe they may have identified possible culprits by tracing their brags about the tag on social media.

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They handed the information to the building's owners.

Cathedral Junction body corporate secretary Karen Leung said the committee would decide whether to involve the police, but she believed they would.

"What they have done is illegal and they should be prosecuted. They can't really get away with it because it has affected quite a few parties involved."

Leung said she was pleased the artist was returning to fix the mural. "It is good for all the tourists and all the people walking by to have a bit of ambience in the area," she said.

A banner for insurance firm Vero that was hung over part of the artwork had been removed by the body corporate after Gap Filler and the artist complained.

The artist felt the banner was disrespectful to the mural and might have led to the tagging.

Keating said he was keen to return to Christchurch to update his artwork.

"As time has gone on, and the city and people's mentality has changed more than five years on from the quake, I think it's time to offer an update, something with new bright positive energy."

Keating was in Christchurch when the earthquake hit in 2010 and lived in the city for a month afterwards.

He created a new public artwork in Christchurch in 2011, before creating the Manchester St mural in 2012.

He said the orange colour scheme of the 2012 mural "reflected both the colour of hope and the colour of so many hard hats and vests which were helping clean up the quake ravaged city".

Gap Filler operations manager Rachael Welfare said the repair of the artwork was funded by various companies and individuals, including restaurant owner Tony Astle, Sign Tech, Kennards Hire, and paint company Resene.

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 - Stuff

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