Taichung police on Saturday released 14 people suspected of vandalizing murals at the city’s Rainbow Village tourist site.
The village contains murals and other street art by 98-year-old veteran Huang Yung-fu (黃永阜), who in 2008 started painting on the buildings of a military dependents’ village that were slated for demolition.
Police said that 14 workers from Rainbow Creative Co, which the Taichung City Government contracted in 2013 to maintain the designated cultural landmark, including company head Wei Pi-jen (魏丕仁), were caught painting over Huang’s murals.
Photo courtesy of the Taichung City Government via CNA
Taichung prosecutors are investigating.
Wei told local media that the action was to protest the government’s unilateral decision to have them move out of the village today.
However, a dispute over profit sharing has emerged as Wei argued that Huang’s murals were “passed down” to his company five years ago and that the village was now part of the company’s intellectual property.
Photo: Su Chin-feng, Taipei Times
The Taichung City Government said its contract with the company to run the village and sell related merchandise was terminated yesterday ahead of the start of construction to reinforce buildings in the village.
The park would be closed for six months before resuming operations in February next year, city officials said, adding that the intellectual property issue is being reviewed in court.
Regardless of the dispute, any damage to the village is intolerable, the Taichung Cultural Affairs Bureau said, adding that it would sue Rainbow Creative for damages.
Upon learning of the vandalism, Huang yesterday called Wei a “bad guy” and told reporters that his lifework was ruined.
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