Monday, March 28, 2011

Further information about anti-chalk-writing rule story

Did some further checking on the story focusing on children living in Whitehorse, Australia, whose artistic endeavors with chalk were deemed a legal no-no.

According to the newspaper, The Whitehorse Leader, the children, residents of a suburb called Nunawading, located 18 km east of the city of Melbourne, were actually drawing with chalk on a footpath located in an open strip mall in front of a cafe called, White's Cafe. In fact, according to the owner of the cafe, the children have been doodling there for almost a year without any complaints. The town council decided to act based on the complaint of one - count it - one person. Perhaps the person didn't care for the artistic renderings - go know.

The owner of the cafe said that a council officer told her that the children's drawings were considered graffiti and had to cease and desist (my words). For the record, the chalkings fall into the category of stick figures, scribbles, fish and pirates - typical topics of the young-at-heart.

Sounds okay to me!

She said the cafe had started a petition supporting the drawings, which had so far been signed by 180 patrons and residents. Furthermore, they would even go so far as to volunteer to wash away the drawings every afternoon once the cafe closed, or apply for a permit from the council if that would help.

The Council’s general manager corporate services, Peter Smith, said the drawings were in contravention of council’s Local Law No. 1 2006 and the state government’s Graffiti Act 2007. He went on to explain that age has no relevance and that drawing on public property is considered graffiti. One wonders if said council is generally busy.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” (Pablo Picasso)

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