Keith Haring mural: conservation v. repainting

Keith Haring mural: conservation v. repainting

Keith Haring's last surviving mural in Australia is at the centre of a conservation v. repainting debate. Arts Victoria is advocating conservation works including an investigation of the materials used by Haring, cleaning and “selective retouching”, stabilisation and the application of a protective coating.

Others want to see the mural repainted saying it is in line with the artist's wishes. Director of the Keith Haring Foundation Julia Gruen says: it is more important that the work conveys Keith's ideals and respect for communities in which he worked, rather than to preserve a brushstroke.” ACCA's artistic director, Julia Engberg agrees. “If we stabilise it now it would just be a vapid, dilapidated [piece] instead of a lively work.”
Haring's Melbourne work is one of only 31 known murals across the world that have survived to this day.
Images: Keith Haring working on his Melbourne mural and a detail of the work showing the effect of time, neglect and the elements