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MILLION DOLLAR GRAFFITI WALL: Baillieu saves Collingwood street art

tedartsVictoria’s Premier Ted Baillieu was unexpectedly elected late last year pledging to ‘fix the problems and build the future.’

Few could have imagined that one of the problems he’s personally got stuck into in the vexing question of the future of a graffiti mural in Collingwood, painted by an American “street artist” Keith Haring, who died of AIDS in 1990.

The Premier himself could barely contain his excitement at his announcement of a restoration programme that will keep the graffiti in tact. He enthused in a media release this past weekend:

"The late Keith Haring was a pioneering street artist and an icon of his generation," Mr Baillieu said. “Keith Haring was committed to making his artworks available to as wide an audience as possible and was an active campaigner for human rights and social justice issues around the world."

The Premier slammed the years of neglect that had led the graffiti to be weathered away since it was first daubed in 1984.

"The mural was entered into the State Heritage Register in 2004 but no work has been undertaken to protect it despite years of exposure to the elements have taken their toll.

"The Coalition Government will act now to prevent further deterioration and restore this landmark piece of public art so that it can be enjoyed by future generations."

The preservation and protection works will be based on a plan by Melbourne conservation and architecture firm RBA Consultants. The plan recommends urgent preliminary works such as the removal of overhead electrical wiring and parking bollards surrounding the site and the appointment of specialist conservators to undertake cleaning works, specialist retouching and the application of a protective coating to defend against UV damage.

The works have been estimated by sources within the Victorian government – speaking on condition of anonymity – at as much as $1 million by the time the restoration and protection works are complete.

Students at Melbourne’s Greensborough Secondary College have recently been permitted to wear blankets in class-rooms due to the dysfunctional heating system at the school.

There have also been left-wing press reports, as yet unconfirmed, that the Victorian government may miss out on billions of federal taxpayer dollars for road and rail projects as a result of its failure to lodge the correct paperwork to Australia’s “independent infrastructure umpire.”

At the least Melbourne’s graffiti is being protected.


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  1. The Liberals election commitment was to eliminate graffiti

    Posted by Another backflip | July 5, 2011, 13:35
  2. Victoria has a state government?

    Posted by Mick | July 5, 2011, 14:18
  3. In regards to Greensborough Secondary College how many years of inaction from local ALP member and Bracks/Brumby State Government. They had 10 years to fix the problems and did nothing. Shame Brooks Shame.

    Posted by Xavier | July 5, 2011, 16:56
  4. RE “Another Backflip”:

    Difference between ‘graffiti’ and street-art.

    Posted by Brenton Eccles | July 5, 2011, 18:31
  5. Ted must be having too many Lattes’ with the lefties. At least he is doing something.

    Posted by chocolate lips | July 5, 2011, 20:35
  6. What do you expect when Heidi Victoria is parly sec for arts. cow

    Posted by THE REAL DIRTY DONNA (PETROVICH) | July 5, 2011, 21:26
  7. I’m gonna stick my trombone up anyone who disagrees with me. Get it?

    Posted by Big Teddie | July 6, 2011, 0:08
  8. I am a respected political strategist.

    After 100 days, it’s time for Barry to start returning my calls.

    Even he must know how respected I am.

    Posted by Shambles | July 6, 2011, 0:09
  9. I love it fast hard and deep, bbut Boofa is past it Shawy has promise though if Dirty Doona stops orally relaxing his organ.

    Posted by Wenchy | July 6, 2011, 0:09
  10. Yes they eliminate illegal graffiti by classifying it as art.

    Nothing has changed under Bailout. Victoria still is a nanny state with revenue rasing “no margin for error” speed cameras and graffiti remaining in place. Bauilout is now minister for the fArts. The portfolio you take when you have no drive or policies for refrom and just want to bow tie and tux it around the social set. We were better off with Brumby.

    Posted by Bow tie and graffiti artsists inc | July 6, 2011, 8:22
  11. Street art is respected by the graffiti artist therefore the only way to control unruly and ugly graffiti tagging is to support more street artists. Plus, how amazing is the wall at David Jones off Burke street?

    Though 1 million seems pretty steep.

    Posted by Anon | July 6, 2011, 9:09
  12. Oh wow… Such a breakthrough. Go FAIL YOU

    Posted by Michael | July 6, 2011, 12:46
  13. The graffiti on the walls of Cape Live in Fitzroy is not street art – it is vandalism. The few police on duty are all too busy after hours doing bureaucratic checks on licensed premises. They turn up around midnight to annoy business people who run bars and pubs and ask to see their security registers and staff RSA certificates. What a waste of resources! They have no one responsible “on the beat” policing the lane ways and side streets where the real violence and damage is occurring. Typical bureaucratic bullshit. Money to pay overtime and penalty rates to go around checking paperwork – no money to protect people and property.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | July 6, 2011, 21:09
  14. Street art should be preserved by taking a photo of it and then getting a paint brush and whitewashing the wall. Save millions that way!

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | July 6, 2011, 21:11
  15. […] Here is an article discussing the matter further: !!!!! […]

    Posted by A Harey Situation | Arty Graffarti | July 6, 2011, 22:20
  16. Forget the poor homeowner who has his house daubed with graffiti.

    Why on earth would anyone want to live in Fitzroy or Collingwood?

    Once proud working class suburbs they are now the home of yuppie latte sucking greens.


    Posted by Amb Dawson | July 7, 2011, 6:39
  17. heidi is one of our big lady models. It’s great that ladies like me and heidi are respected for our brains not braun. We’re here to serve, milking ouur young boys dry, like little neil, jeff jc, and of course that fiesty mo’b.

    Posted by inga binga | July 7, 2011, 13:46
  18. I had a look today at this so called “street art”. It is not worth preserving. Take a photo of it and paint over the wall. It is time to set priorities for expenditure for Victoria. With schools and hospitals and police underfunded, this is the sort of trendy wank that only a lefty public servant could come up with. Where was the Premier’s bullshit radar?

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | July 7, 2011, 18:10
  19. In a stinging letter and pamphlet sent to party members, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, a frontbencher who belongs to the hard-right faction, has named five moderate members of the state executive as responsible for the August 21 loss.

    ”As a result, we have a Labor-Greens alliance led by a hopelessly incompetent Julia Gillard giving us the carbon tax, the mining tax, the flood tax, more leaky boats, more waste and further mismanagement of the economy,” her letter says.

    Posted by Connie's Revenge | July 10, 2011, 11:26
  20. Was this from the Connie who was voting for the National Left’s candidate in the Senate last week?

    Posted by Viva la Connie | July 10, 2011, 21:40
  21. I am a respected political strategist.

    Just remember Connie, I was the president who made it all possible.

    I had already cut and run by August 21. It was all part of my cunning strategy.

    Posted by Shambles | July 10, 2011, 23:13
  22. Aren’t my three comments on this article moderate enough? Heck, I’m the epitome of moderation and good sense!

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | July 12, 2011, 22:36