Myanmar Junta's Whitewash Of Giant Mural Sparks Public Anger

By The Irrawaddy 17 March 2022

Myanmar’s junta has painted over a giant public mural on Yangon’s Myaynigone flyover, a popular meeting spot, attracting online condemnation.

The junta on Wednesday removed the popular artwork, which was painted in late 2016 under the civilian National League for Democracy government.

One of the artists who worked on the project posted: “Our paintings on both sides were painted over [by] people who don’t understand art.”

The mural was part of a flyover art project, organized by France and the Yangon regional government, to transform the concrete network into a public space with plants, street art and a playground.

It quickly became a popular, cool meeting point, hosting sports and cultural activities since December 2016.

Junta employees paint over the art. / Supplied

Artist and former political prisoner Htein Lin told The Irrawaddy that removing public art was reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“I feel really bad to see art created for the public in a community space removed,” he said.

The artist said artistic freedom was being crushed by the junta.

A resident of Yangon, who only gave her name as Lwin, told The Irrawaddy that the junta intends to destroy everything achieved under the civilian government.

“It is one of the very few places in Yangon where we can enjoy colorful street art. But now it is gone,” she added.

A young model posted on Facebook: “Real art can no longer survive in this country.”

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