A museum dedicated to street art opens in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - A museum for graffiti and art for public spaces will open in Berlin on Saturday and designs by local and international street artists will be exhibited on the facade of its building to kick it off.

The Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, dubbed “Artmeile” or “Art Mile”, is located in a converted apartment building. It has an asphalted floor and an open structure to make it feel like a street.

“Urban contemporary art is the logical next step to follow what is happening on the street,” said museum director Yasha Young.

“This house can be an archive that tells the story (of street art) for the first time, from the beginning until now,” she said, adding that the art properly belonged on the street.

Graffiti in Berlin is illegal unless the owner of the sprayed area gives permission. Twenty years ago, the city allocated almost $5 million to erase graffiti and a lobby was set up to secure places for street artists to practise legally.

“It’s a nice thing that there is a museum happening because it means that the artists who have been a part of this scene and movement for a long time are now getting the respect that they deserve,” said Louis Masai from London, who is one of 150 artists whose work will be exhibited.

Reporting By Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg