A well-liked cultural attraction and one among Taiwan’s most “Instagrammable” websites has allegedly been defaced by the operators contracted to run it, after they have been instructed to maneuver out for six months whereas restoration work was performed.
It was found on Friday that most of the partitions of the Rainbow Village had been coated with paint in a single day. Police detained 14 workers of the Rainbow Artistic Co for questioning over the alleged vandalism, together with the corporate’s head, Wei Pi-Jen, who defended their actions as a protest somewhat than “malicious destruction”. They have been launched on Sunday.
The Rainbow Village is a former army housing property within the metropolis of Taichung, on Taiwan’s central western coast. Many related villages, as soon as frequent throughout Taiwan as housing for the dependents of veterans, have been demolished. In 2008 as Taichung’s metropolis centre grew in direction of its outskirts, the location was earmarked for growth and residents have been supplied compensation to maneuver.
The final remaining resident was a former soldier, Huang Yung-Fu, who had lived within the village for greater than 30 years. Not wanting to go away, Huang started portray dozens of neighbouring homes, and his work caught the attention of native college college students who campaigned to avoid wasting the location.
It now reportedly welcomes 1 million guests yearly, drawn to the intense and vibrant murals overlaying the small and quirky properties. Beneath contract with the Taichung metropolis authorities, the Rainbow Artistic Co has maintained and operated the village as a tourism enterprise for nearly 10 years, whereas Huang has continued to stay on web site.
In a handwritten word obtained by native media, Huang, 99, mentioned he was very unhappy to study of the murals’ destruction. “My lifetime’s work was destroyed by him,” Huang mentioned, referring to Wei.
Throughout social media and Google critiques for the attraction, Taiwanese individuals expressed anger on the Rainbow Artistic Co, with many calling for prosecution.
“There are various methods to cope with issues, and you utilize the strategy that everybody thinks is the least best,” mentioned one commenter in reply to the corporate’s publish. One other mentioned: “Whoever provokes you, it’s best to go to that particular person. Why contain Grandpa Rainbow? You’ve ruined most of Grandpa’s onerous work like this, received’t your conscience be uneasy?”
Rainbow Artistic Co defended the actions, saying Wei had copyright over the murals, and accused the town authorities of “administrative violence” by forcing it out with simply 5 days’ discover. “Why not give us an early discover or announcement in order that we are able to put together prematurely, as a substitute of fully ignoring the livelihood of our 22 workers?” it mentioned.
Wei mentioned the act was the “solely option to defend my rights and pursuits”, and that not one of the work coated up by his workforce had been painted by Huang. The 2 events are concerned in a authorized dispute over profit-sharing and copyright.
Neither social gathering may very well be reached for additional remark.
Extra reporting by Xiaoqian Zhu