Divided Opinions Over Pro-Palestinian Graffiti on Lion’s Head
SANParks has urged people to refrain from graffitiing slogans, flags, or any other ‘messaging’ on Cape Town’s landmarks after a Palestinian flag was spraypainted onto the Lion’s Head beacon.
Noting that ‘Graffiti in national parks is illegal’, SANParks said that some structures on Lion’s Head were painted in the colours of Palestine recently.
‘A Palestine flag that was painted on trig beacons and rocks along the path and a bench on Lion’s Head in Cape Town has set tongues wagging, with SANParks warning it is forbidden to do so on its property.’
Several pictures of the graffiti/vandalism were posted to social media, and although the SA Jewish Board of Deputies were joined by several commentators in asking for its removal, many have said that it should remain.
SANParks spokesperson Lauren Howard-Clayton said the flag was painted last Thursday morning and the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was informed of the incident by midday.
“Rangers responded as soon as possible and removed the graffiti as it is illegal to apply graffiti to any natural object or man-made structure in a national park,” said Howard-Clayton.
“An environmentally friendly graffiti remover, brushes, and water were used to remove graffiti from the rocks. The beacons on the top of Lion’s Head were painted white.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign coordinator, Usuf Chikte, said there was a popular revolt with censorship of the news about the Palestinian genocide by Israel.
“This revolt finds expression in resistance in the form of art as was the case with the Palestinian painting of the beacon on top of Lion’s Head which is a popular photo-op for local and international visitors.”
Chikte added that some people saw the “painting” as “defiantly supercool”, and “SANParks’ selective concern about defacing public areas, and graffiti, was rather interesting.”
“The concern from our side is the speed at which authorities removed it.
“There are all kinds of graffiti, all over the city, some which have been there for several months, in fact, even years, not even contributing in any way artistically, or towards political engagement with the public.
“Why is there painting over graffiti in certain areas, while not in others?”
Table Mountain was here long before we humans began hating each other, so perhaps it would be better to keep nature out of our conflicts.