Berlin museum hails graffiti as art form
Many cities around the world view graffiti as nothing less than vandalism — a form of pollution that must be removed from the streets.
But a new gallery in the German capital is celebrating it as an art form.
The Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art is opening in Berlin, a city famous for its street art.
The showcase, featuring the works of 150 international and local artists, is being described as the first of its kind in the world.
“Urban contemporary art is the logical next step to follow what is happening on the street,” museum Director Yasha Young told Reuters.
“This house can be an archive that tells the story [of street art] for the first time, from the beginning until now,” she said.
Many of the artworks featured in the museum have been exhibited on the façade and surrounding streets ahead of the formal launch of the inaugural display.
It is illegal to daub graffiti on Berlin’s buildings without the permission of the owner.
But the city has also introduced measures to help street artists carry out their art legally.
British artist Louis Masai, whose work is exhibited in the new museum, welcomed Saturday’s opening.
“It means that the artists who have been a part of this scene and movement for a long time are now getting the respect that they deserve,” he said.