“Placemaking” Penang’s Public Art

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While street art invigorates George Town, someone needs to ensure that it is tasteful, at the very least.

In recent years, Penang has become famous for its creative street art. The eclectic murals, sculptures and art installations definitely upgrade Penang’s cityscape. The state government has been supportive of this. But when concerns about rampant unauthorised murals appearing within the George Town World Heritage Site (GTWHS) were raised, something had to be done. After all, this new phenomenon may affect the city’s heritage status.

In July 2014 the state government set up a special arts committee, the Public Arts Review Panel (PARP), to support the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) in managing and regulating the creation of public art at GTWHS. From then on, those who wish to create public artwork within the site are required to apply for approval with a two-step process, as shown in Figure 1. Each step takes 14 working days to process.


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