Damascus mural wins Guinness record

WORLD'S LARGEST MURAL FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS BRINGS HOPE IN A TIME OF WAR

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » Damascus mural wins Guinness record

Published: 4 April 2014

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

  

A group of Syrian artists in Damascus has set the record for the world’s largest mural made from recycled materials, aiming to inspire hope and creativity in a country torn by civil war.

The brightly coloured, 720m² work was made from a collection of aluminum cans, broken mirrors, bicycle wheels, cooking utensils and other scrap objects, and displayed on a street outside a primary school in the centre of the Syrian capital.

‘We wanted to give a smile to the people, joy to the children, and show people that the Syrian people love life, love beauty, love creativity.’

Moaffak Makhoul, artist

Guinness World Records announced on its Facebook page that Moaffak Makhoul and his team completed the mural in January, two months shy of the third anniversary of a civil war that has killed over 140,000 people, forced millions more to flee their homes and devastated much of the country’s infrastructure, economic activity and urban life.

The mural’s lead artist, Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul, said the idea behind the project was to give ordinary people a chance to experience art and relieve some of the pressures of daily life as the country’s conflict grinds on.

‘In the difficult conditions that the country is going through, we wanted to give a smile to the people, joy to the children, and show people that the Syrian people love life, love beauty, love creativity’, he said.

Fitting for the times…

Makhoul felt the mural was a fitting project for the times because it could help ease the frustrations of normal people. ‘I found it to be the most appropriate time for this. Now is when we need to do something’, he said.

The mural took about six months to complete and was finished in January with the help of about six artists.

Students at the school nearby said they were happy with the work, which took about six months to complete. ‘It’s really great – it’s made me more excited to come to school’, said one student, Shams Khidir.

‘The mural gives us hope again. Damascus is wounded and sad… and creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction’

Souheil Amayri, professor

Housewives gave the artists a helping hand, supplying the artists with bits and pieces of domestic waste. ‘Many people came from war zones to give us their house keys or other personal objects’, said Rajaa Wabi, who also worked on the mural. ‘All sorts of people have come to see it. The mural has reunited Syrians’, she said.

Souheil Amayri, a professor who helped out with the project, said the aim was to help revive hope in Syria, where the war has killed around 146,000 people and forced millions to flee.

‘The mural gives us hope again. Damascus is wounded and sad… and creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction’, he said.

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