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‘Act Of Vandalism’: Sliema Arts Festival Condemns Maltese Real Estate Agency’s Billboard Covering Up Iconic Mural

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A real estate company’s billboard has taken the place of one of Malta’s most iconic works of graffiti, in what seems like a punchline to a joke we haven’t heard yet.

Sliema Arts Festival, who featured the piece in their 2015 showcase, has condemned the “act of vandalism” on the much-loved mural.

Speaking to The Times of Malta, real estate agency Simon Mamo defended their actions, saying that they are the owners of the wall, which will be gone within a few months anyway with a hotel set to take its place.

“The building belongs to us. We had no problem with the graffiti remaining there for these past four years and left it there undisturbed. But that wall will soon vanish as a hotel is being built in the vacant plot next door,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Located in Sliema and designed by street artist MTO back in 2015 for the Malta Street Art Festival, this popular (and huge) piece shows the struggle of migrants who escape for a new life.

“Savagely covering a political mural speaking about migrants struggles to cross the Mediterranean sea with an ugly real estate advertisement which looks like it’s getting out of the character’s butt couldn’t make more sense,” MTO said.

There’s a companion piece to the mural in Italy’s Sapri. The two-part mural ties the two works to yet another piece which MTO had completed in Sliema on the same theme, The Mediterranean Door.

READ NEXT: Malta Has Some Seriously Stare-Worthy Street Art, And Here’s Some Of Our Favourites

 

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