Kathmandu, September 26

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has requested the artists interested in painting awareness art, graphics, writing and graffiti on walls to seek permission from the authorities to avoid legal action.

Wall paintings and writings have become rampant in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake in an apparent bid to promote nationalism, culture and tourism in the capital.

Kathmandu Metropilitan City has fixed a fee of Rs 200-300 per square feet for painters and artists interested in painting the walls with awareness materials and messages, according to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City officials.

However, the paintings done for advertisements and commercial promotion add to visual pollution and mar the city’s beauty. Such paintings will not be tolerated by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said officials.

Mahesh Kafle, chief of Revenue Division at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said, “Legal action will be taken against artists painting on public properties and walls for commercial or promotional purposes. On the other hand, those interested in painting the walls for social causes and awareness should take permission from the Kathmandu Metropolitan City.”

Padam Bahadur Shrestha, president of Environmental Development and Conservation Legal Forum, said awareness paintings and writings should bear the government logo for authorisation. “The paintings and writings with awareness materials do not add to visual pollution,” Shrestha said, adding that writings and paintings depicting nationality, social welfare messages and culture should be encouraged.

The artists have to take prior permission from the Department of Archeology to paint the temples and heritage sites.

Aditya Aryal, a trained painter with bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Kathmandu University, said youths like him had started wall painting in the capital to discourage political parties from painting walls with their political slogans.

“Paintings with social messages create awareness while political writings induce strife among the people. The awareness paintings and writings endorse solidarity,” Aryal said.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been running a campaign to remove illegal commercial and advertising hoarding boards, paintings and posters from public places and buildings. More than 30,000 randomly placed hoarding boards were removed from buildings in the capital last year. Offenders had been fined from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000 in the past for visually polluting the city.