Ipoh currently boasts more than 50 murals painted at both old and new town. The murals come in assorted designs that draw the attention not only among locals but also tourists who come and visit.
Among artists who worked hard on these murals are Lithuanian painter Ernest Zacharevic, local artists Eric Lai and one of Echo Personality alumni, Kareem Kai. The murals are without doubt amazing and a great tourist lure but are they being maintained?
A visit between Jalan Masjid (Hume Street) and Jalan Sultan Iskandar (Hugh Low Street) where murals are mostly painted by locals, is proof that authorities need to assign a task force or a team to help in repairing and retouching the murals.
“It does give the ‘old is gold’ feeling when you look at it. But if nothing is being done to maintain them, future visitors won’t have anything left to appreciate as some are in such sorry states of weathering and neglect. Perhaps retouching the colours once in awhile may help,” said Siti Norfiza Nazuwan, a tourist from Kuala Lumpur who paid a visit to the mural street recently.
As for Afham Suhaimi, an Ipohite, he believes that there is no need to repaint as it may accidentally destroy the art, “I haven’t been to this street for quite sometime. Maybe if they clean up the area, pluck out the weeds and clean the mud, it could give a different vibe,” said Afham who is also a part-time photographer.
Since this year is Visit Perak Year, responsible parties must take action to preserve and manage the murals. Such poorly maintained murals could affect tourist visits in Ipoh.