First ever legal graffiti wall opens up in Tallinn

The new, legal graffiti wall in Tallinn.
The new, legal graffiti wall in Tallinn. Source: ERR

Tallinn's first ever legal graffiti wall has been opened, and may pave the way to more officially sanctioned walls in future, depending on how the project goes, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Friday.

The wall is located under the Pärnu mnt viaduct, south of the city center, and has so far attracted around a dozen artists.

One, Emilia, told AK that: "I have spray-painted various colorful birds, or more specifically a toucan ... I really like birds and I've actually drawn several bird graffiti in Tallinn. This is one of that series."

The work of another graffiti artist, Daniil, is more reflective and has included a representation of Christ, encircled by an electrical charge.

Daniil said he had no objection to anyone else painting over his work. "I don't remember who said it, but when you paint, that's in the moment, it's your job. When it's done, it's no longer your job."

While graffiti in general is illegal in Tallinn, the legally available wall circumvents that, Tallinn city center district elder Nikita Groznov (Center) told AK.

He said: "The magic of the legal wall is that there are no rules whatsoever. If anyone feels a desire to express themselves right here, please go ahead, but I have to mention that there are some very simple rules are common among artists. For instance, it is not seen as correct to insult someone with your work, while you should respect the work of others too."

Not only the artists themselves but also the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) will be monitoring best practices, though the artists will be mostly self-regulating if, for instance, inappropriate daubings should appear.

Any graffito which does infringe the rules will be covered over with black paint, which will also serve to act as a clean canvas for the next artist to come along.

Youth worker Alexei Jefimov stressed that the intention for the facility was for it to be a "living wall".

Tallinn city government says that it also plans to open another graffiti wall, somewhere in the capital, though cannot announce at this stage where that will be or when.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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