Auckland muralist furious at culprit who painted over art

Auckland muralist furious at culprit who painted over art
Photo credit: Supplied

An Auckland muralist is furious at the culprit who destroyed his art, a "gift to the community", by painting over it. 

Jesse Jensen approached Auckland City Council last year about his goal to create 'beautiful art' across the city. 

He had a number of projects he wanted to do, including a project creating a large-scale mural on a fence down an alleyway behind the Marlborough skatepark in Glenfield. 

Mr Jensen said he approached the council to get permission to paint on the fence last year and was told it was not a council owned fence and needed to seek permission from Auckland Transport and the residents who live on the other side of the fence. 

The mural before it was painted over.
The mural before it was painted over. Photo credit: Supplied

And so, Mr Jensen did just that and says he was told by Auckland Transport to seek permission from the residents - something he already had - so he went ahead and started painting the fence in December last year. 

But when he went back to the site on Wednesday his mural was painted over with green paint.

"It's a gift for the community and they destroyed it for nothing," Mr Jensen says.

He says he started painting what would be a beautiful sunrise with people walking along a beach. 

"It's around 30 hours or so of work and $200 worth of paint."

The mural after it was painted over.
The mural after it was painted over. Photo credit: Supplied

Mr Jensen says this is an ongoing issue for artists who seek the appropriate permission to paint art publically just to have it 'destroyed'. 

"I might as well have done it illegally. I want to go to court, I want to get arrested, I want young people to be able to express themselves, to be able to put their art out in the public."

He believes the council is to blame for painting over his mural.

According to Auckland Council community empowerment manager, Christine Olsen, says council has had an open line of communication with Mr Jensen in relation to his proposed works.

However, Ms Olsen says council was not advised of Mr Jensen's proposed artwork at Marlborough Skate Park.

"The work was left incomplete and a member of the public contacted us concerned that it was an act of vandalism.

"All walkways are maintained graffiti free by Auckland Council's zero tolerance programme.

"Any artwork commissioned by the council or similar is added to the Graffiti Prevention Team's 'no paint' list.

"As we had not been informed about this artwork, or who was responsible for it, we were left with little option but to treat it as an act of vandalism and have it painted over."

Ms Olsen says council will continue to work with Mr Jensen to try to resolve the situation amicably.

An Auckland Transport spokesperson said Auckland Council is dealing with all media queries regarding this matter. 

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