Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharavic is famous for his creative murals all over the city of Georgetown in Penang which according to many, had contributed to the tourism boost in Penang.
However, recently on one of the walls in Carnarvon Street, Penang, a mural of a man who appears to look like the artist Ernest Zacharavic holding a paint bucket and writing the words ‘Penang Darul Ernest’ had emerged, causing dissatisfaction among the locals.
Receiving much attention from the locals and tourists in Penang, the message symbolised by the mural is seen to somewhat ridicule the Penang state and its love for murals by Zacharavic.
One of the locals requested the authorities to remove the mural at once, for it may bring unwanted attention. However, although many believe that the mural has underlying meanings, some of them feel that it would be a waste to erase it, as it could be a new form of attraction for Penang.
According to Guang Ming newspaper, one of the witness claimed that the mural was drawn a week ago by a 30-year-old man.
A painter from Kuala Lumpur commented that he believes that the person who painted the mural is dissatisfied that a foreigner contributed to the successful tourism rate in Penang, which is why the words “Penang Darul Ernest” is meant to mock the state.
A Hong Kong tourist said, “The meaning of the words is not important as long as the mural can attract more tourists to the place, because the only ones affected are the locals who can understand the underlying message hidden in the mural, not the tourists.”