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Egyptian graffiti artists target whitewashed walls and the president

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Youths stand in front of a graffiti with Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi face on a playing card along Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Sept. 21. No sooner had Egyptian authorities painted over a wall of revolutionary graffiti near Tahrir Square this week than the street artists were back with spray cans and a new target President Mohamed Mursi.

Khalil Hamra / AP

Egyptian artists work on graffiti on a newly whitewashed wall in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 21.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

A man draws graffiti along Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Sept. 21.

 

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

A man looks on in front of graffiti with Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak, former Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie along Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Sept. 21.

Reuters — No sooner had Egyptian authorities painted over a wall of revolutionary graffiti near Tahrir Square this week than the street artists were back with spray cans and a new target: President Mohamed Mursi.

Seeking to restore a sense of normalcy to Tahrir, scene of the democratic uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power last year, the authorities have deployed police, evicted unlicensed vendors and planted palm trees, shrubs and flowers.

'Erasing history': Egyptians bristle after graffiti murals painted over

But the move to whitewash graffiti charting the course of the revolt and the turbulent 18 months that followed was a step too far for the artists. They congregated to spray murals expressing anger with the government.

"This work embodied many things: the martyrs, the military regime and a people looking for freedom and democracy," said Ahmed Nadi, a political cartoonist, as he spray-painted caricatures of the bearded, bespectacled president who was elected in June in Egypt's first free presidential vote. Continue reading.

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Khalil Hamra / AP

Egyptian artists work on graffiti on a newly whitewashed wall in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 21. Under cover of darkness, a few municipality workers quietly began to paint over an icon of Egypt's revolution: a giant, elaborate public mural on the street that saw some of the most violent clashes between protesters and police over the past two years. Artists have since worked to cover the whitewash with new art.

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian man waves the national flag next to a graffiti on a newly whitewashed wall in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 21.

 

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