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25 Jun 12

Street Painters Add Dash of Magic to Sarajevo

The first festival of street painters, creating their 3D illusions on squares and sidewalks, opened in Sarajevo on June 21.

Elvira Jukic
BIRN Sarajevo
  In front of the main Sarajevo cathedral / Photo by Elvira Jukic

The Beton festival, which takes place in Sarajevo from June 21 to 25 with the participation of more than 30 domestic and foreign artists, will turn parts of the city into a 3D-illusion with drawings ranging from old buildings to a river on the street.

Maida Sabeta, the project manager of the festival, said on Friday that one picture was already finished in the centre of Sarajevo, in front of the Catholic cathedral. Most of the drawings by foreign artists will be done on the city's main street and on a square near the BBI centre.

“It is about painting the busy street,” she said. “Some paintings will show Sarajevo's old spirit from the Austro-Hungarian period,” she added.

The main guest artists are Filip Mrvelj, Matthew May and Giovanna la Pietra who will be followed by nearly 30 young artist from Bosnia and Serbia.

  Drawing of the 3D picture by young artists / Photo by E. Jukic

May said he had been into street paining for over ten years and that he planned to do a piece on the main Ferhadija street.

”I will do my work by the City Market Hall,” he said.

“I'll draw a reflection as it looks in the water; you will see the building as it used to be, and then a bridge that people can walk over.”


Street painting festivals are organized in many countries around the world these days, following the tradition established by so-called "madonnari", Italian travelling artists who painted the streets of Italian cities long ago.

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