Harms will be painted over in the summer. Graffiti on the wall in St. Petersburg could not be defended

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  • Anna Pushkarskaya
  • BBC, St. Petersburg

graffiti of Harms

Photo author, Sergei Konkov / TASS

A court in St. Petersburg has postponed an appeal hearing against the decision to destroy graffiti with a portrait of Daniel Harms at the end of the house where he lived. Officials and homeowners have agreed to sign a global agreement to replace graffiti with light projection. It was not possible to save the unauthorized drawing even against the background of a loud scandal due to the dismissal of a teacher at a St. Petersburg gymnasium after reading in a lesson the poems of the Oberiuts, repressed during the years of Stalinist terror.

Harms looks at Mayakovsky Street as if from a corner – from a portrait on a narrow end between the facades of the house 11 “A”. If you google this address on the map, it will display a landmark icon with the caption “Portrait of Harms”. Late last year, a court in St. Petersburg ruled that graffiti residents should paint over graffiti within a month. On the day of consideration of the case in the appeal of the authorities and the manager of the Homeowners’ Association announced about a compromise option – an unauthorized landmark will be painted over in the summer, and after destruction will be replaced by a light projection. The project is promised to be agreed with the residents, but it is already clear that the graffiti defenders lost the six-year struggle for it.

Last week, Harms’ name hit the headlines. Seraphim Saprykina’s teacher said on Facebook that after the lesson with reading the poems of the Oberiuts, the school principal allegedly called them enemies of the people and accomplices of the Nazis. In response, the director and officials began to praise Harms. On the state channel “Russia”, the host Dmitry Kiselev called him “our most talented poet” and “the pride of domestic literature.” And journalist Alexei Pivovarov in the program “Editorial” on the channel on Youtube suggested that the scandal will allow graffiti to “get rid of” the destruction.

Who and why waged a six-year struggle over a street painting a couple of storeys high?

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