"I went there with a few spray cans to try to fix it, but there was too much damage for retouching; it needs to be repainted." That's what artist Yazan Halwani told Beirut.com on Wednesday after surveying the damage done by vandals to graffiti he painted of Ali Abdallah and Mahmoud Darwiche back in August on a wall near the Grand Cinemas Concorde facing Lina's restaurant in Verdun.

Halwani found out about the incident after Beirut blogger Gino tagged him in a photo of his graffiti.

This isn't the first time Halwani's work has been painted over. This work titled, "Salam" (Peace), which he created in 2012 in Hamra, was covered up last year.

Well-known Lebanese graffiti artists and hip hop duo Ashekman experienced a similar problem when this piece, located on a wall in front of the Sukleen building near Forum de Beyrouth, was painted over in the spring of 2013. But Halwani says two nearby graffiti pieces, one made by Ashekman and the other by Karim Tamerji, were left untouched in Verdun.

Whether this was a personal message to the artist, a statement to the graffiti community as a whole, or to Halwani's use of Mahmoud Darwiche and Ali Abdallah's faces, the artist says "it was too soon, and people seemed to like the graffiti, especially the people living around here. I spoke with them, and they were pretty angry about this [vandalism]."

"Although it is unfortunate, and those are the 'rules of the graffiti game,' you know, I did not expect the piece to survive for eternity, but I was shocked someone would paint over Ali Abdallah's face," Halwani told Beirut.com

Ali Abdallah, a homeless man considered a staple of the Bliss Street and AUB area, was found dead on January 7, 2013. Darwiche was a Palestinian poet and author who passed away in 2008.

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Graffiti Artist Yazan Halwani... Blog on Feb 10, 2014


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