German Green Party Campaigns to Save Oz’s Graffiti

Oz in front of one of his murals. Photo:

Before his untimely death last September, caused by a train accident at the age of 64, the legendary German graffiti artist Walter Josef Fischer—better known as Oz—is said to have sprayed over 100,000 pictures throughout Germany and the world (see “German Graffiti Legend Oz Killed by Train“).

According to the Hamburger Abendblatt, the Hamburg Green Party is now campaigning to save some of the street artist’s murals so future generations can appreciate them. Green Party politician Anjes Markas told the Hamburger Abendblatt: “We want to ensure that individual works are preserved so that Oz will not be forgotten.” The politician has proposed several ideas, ranging from installing plexiglass windows to protect his works to selling individual pieces through the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

The Hamburg Green Party has also invited the public to sign an online petition, started a day after Oz’s death by a group of fans, which calls for his artworks to be preserved. At the time of writing, the petition had collected 2,941 signatures.

The political party even turned to the Senate of Hamburg in an effort to foster support for the protection of Oz’s murals. A spokesperson from the Senate, however, told the Hamburger Abendblatt that they had not dealt with the issue.

In Germany, Oz divided opinions and inspired significant debate about whether street art should be considered art or vandalism.

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