Sunday, 10 January 2016 18:49

Tackling graffiti’s reach

graffiti on the Germasogeia bridge - now removed graffiti on the Germasogeia bridge - now removed

Graffiti – writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on walls or other, often public, surfaces – has existed for centuries, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and the Roman Empire.

Today, it poses a problem the world over, and in Limassol has generated a special eyesore, despite the threat of laws and fines for malicious damage.

One Limassol resident, however, is offering a solution via his newly-established graffiti removal service.

Nicos Marcou used to live in Vienna where graffiti is also a big problem, and where a friend of his owns a graffiti-removal business. So, having moved back to his Limassol hometown this summer, it didn’t take him long to realise the extent of the problem.

“It’s such a shame to see how beautifully old town Limassol has been renovated, yet already has spray paint all over,” says Marcou.

Via his newly-founded company, Cyprus Graffiti Removal-Gramitlo Ltd, he thus decided to bring to the island the Australian anti-graffiti product he knew from Austria.

The product is biodegradable and can be safely used on any surface, and “the cost is very reasonable and calculated by area”, explains Marcou.

He and partner Stelios Petri have approached the district’s municipalities, but according to Marcou, responses have been hesitant, often citing budgetary limitations. Nonetheless, Yermasoyia municipality recently had its bridge cleaned and a church wall spruced up with great results. Numerous private households have also been using the service.

Limassol’s annual Street Life Festival was created to beautify the city centre via recognised street art, giving artists the opportunity to decorate walls that have been authorised. “We absolutely discourage any form of non-authorised painting and vandalism,” says event organiser Yiotis Ttofis Kyriacou.

As for the public, it appears they agree the scrawls are unsightly. “The artistic graffiti is fantastic, but the scribbles and football hooligan symbols need to be taken care of,” said one young woman on St. Andrew’s Street.

Hopefully, Marcou’s and Petri’s innovative company will ensure things look cleaner soon. Cyprus Graffiti removal can be contacted via their Facebook page or 7000 1017.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of January 8 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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