Preserving art that was never meant to last

Published on : DW

French artist Blek le Rat’s Madonna is a masterpiece that holds not just a love story but also the excitement of post-reunification Leipzig. Should graffiti be preserved? In this case, Leipzig says yes.

For many years, Mazi Kretzschmar passed by the Madonna on her way to school. It was painted on a Leipzig apartment building.

As a young girl in the early 1990s, Kretzschmar was fascinated by the graffiti. But over the years, it disappeared beneath layers of posters, and she soon forgot about it – until she walked by the painting again in January 2012. The posters were torn, revealing the Madonna’s head….