A Syrian artist has set a Guinness record for the world’s largest mural finished with recycled materials. The aim is to inspire hope, creativity and motivation in his war torn country.
Guinness World Records announced on its Facebook page that Moaffak Makhoul and his team completed the mural in Damascus in January, only two months shy of the third anniversary of the dismal state of affairs in Syria.
“The largest mural from recycled material measures 720 square metres (7,749.98 square feet),” it said on its Facebook page. Guinness said it was “created from manufactured waste by Moaffak Makhoul and a team of six Syrian artists in Al Mazzeh, Damascus.”
Mazzeh is an upscale neighbourhood and the wall Makhoul worked on runs along a key motorway through the centre of the capital. The team used a multi-coloured assortment and mishmash of scrap from cars, bicycles wheels, cooking utensils, pipes and soft drink cans, mirrors and ceramics to create the mural.
“We began the work in October because I felt the need, in this climate of ours, to give something to my country, to make the Syrian people be known for their love of beauty, life and nature,” he said.
Housewives and other people were one of the biggest help in the project, giving the artists the material to work with, supplying them with bits and pieces of domestic waste, said Rajaa Wabi who also worked on the mural. “Many people came from war zones to give us their house keys or other personal objects,” she said. The result is a vibrant mural that has brought people out onto the street.
“All sorts of people have come to see it. The mural has reunited Syrians,” she said. Souheil Amayri, a professor who helped, said the aim was to help revive hope in Syria, where the war has killed around 146,000 people and forced millions to flee. The situation remains critical and many fear that it will take many years to built Syria to its original state.
“The mural gives us hope again. Damascus is wounded and sad… and creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction,” he said.