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Mix & Match: 13th C Castle Wants the Street Art to Stay

A view of Kelburn Castle painted (by Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images via PSFK)

The way Kelburn Castle describes it on their site makes it sound simple and even sexy, back in 2007 they decided to take the “vibrant and often transient art form of Brazilian graffiti, out of its predominantly urban context and apply it to the ancient and permanent walls of an historic rural castle in Scotland.”

What resulted is an elaborate surface mural by a number of Brazilian street arts, including the street art scenes favorite twins, Os Gemeos (aka Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo), Nina Pandolfo and Nunca. The fanciful mural used 1,500 cans of spray paint to cover the walls and turrets of the south side of the 13th C. castle, reputedly the oldest in Scotland.

The original deal that allowed the owners to conjure up this slice of urbanity in the Scottish countryside stated that after three years the mural would be removed. But now the Earl of Glasgow, whose family has lived on the estate for 800 years, wants to extend its life indefinitely.

Why do you ask? Seems no one counted on it becoming such a popular tourist attraction and the economics of history in Scotland may be better served by the cash of tourists who want to see the clash of old and new. Will historical accuracy win out over the carnivalesque?

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A timelapse of the mural’s creation is here:

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