WATCH ABOVE: The owners of the Freak Lunchbox candy store on Barrington Street are getting some criticism for painting over a well known sailing mural on their buildings exterior. Global’s Dave Squires reports.
HALIFAX – The owners of the Freak Lunchbox, a candy store in downtown Halifax, are getting some criticism for painting over a well-known mural on the building’s exterior wall.
The “Tall Ships 2000” mural was painted 15 years ago by artist Zeqirja Rexhepi to commemorate tall ships visiting Halifax.
Erin and Jeremy Smith, owners of the Freak Lunchbox, the building and the painting, said they appealed to both the public and the painter’s family for someone interested in taking the painting off their hands, but said they didn’t hear from anyone.
“We actually didn’t get any response back. When people got the numbers, no one stepped up,” said Erin Smith.
The Smith’s estimated the cost of removing the large piece of artwork at around $3500.
Erin Smith said painting over the mural was a last resort, but they had to take matters into their own hands after waiting a month for a response.
“The lack of response spoke for itself,” said Smith.
Smith said the Rexhepi family did eventually respond late last week, but it was too late to turn back.
“They asked us if it will be possible to wait until Wednesday, but I don’t think they also realize we’ve booked an artist who is very busy, a muralist who is travelling around the country,” said Smith. “We had to book his time, his flights, we have to get permits, the space rented, hire staff and painters, it’s a long process…It could have gone on forever. There’s a lot of twiddling your thumbs. But we just had to take matters into our own hands.”
The process of painting over the mural with black paint started early this morning. Some people took to social media to express their dismay.
Jeremy and Erin Smith said the new painting will not be an advertisement. Instead, it will be a “gift” to the city that will be colorful with a maritime theme.