Garub graffiti making waves

Travel companies and local musicians set to remove ‘art’

08 March 2020 | Tourism

Swakopmund • [email protected]


More and more international media have begun following the graffiti issue in Namibia. Not only has the British news agency BBC reported about it, an extensive article was published in the French daily newspaper Le Progrès based in Lyon (France).

The outcry came after four tourists, including three from France, covered the historic Garub train station near Aus with graffiti.

“Many international media companies have contacted me,” says Nrupesh Soni upon enquiry by this newspaper.

Soni is investigating the case with a group of private individuals and has now launched the #NoGraffitiNam initiative.

Along with this, several tour guides and private companies as well as the singer Ees have agreed to remove the graffiti themselves. “I see graffiti in Germany every day and I don't want the ‘art’ to come to Namibia,” Ees said.

“It’s just amazing how as a small population stand together. It’s a great feeling,” Soni said.

He is just as impressed by the international response. However, he feels that it is very difficult to report what happened to the local police.

Because only with a police report can the tourists responsible for the mess and who allegedly live in Lyon, be held accountable.

This was also emphasized by the French embassy in Namibia. “We are aware of the case, but there is no official reaction,” a spokesperson told this newspaper.

“The (Namibian) police have to investigate the case. French citizens, like Namibians, have to comply with local laws,” he said.

According to the Le Progrès report, it is believed that at least one of the culprits, along with nine other “taggers”, were arrested during a raid in Lyon in 2016.

Back then, they were accused of “tagging” trains, subways, highways and more. Back then the French National Railway Company (SNCF) estimated the damage at €1 million.

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