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Egypt artists "reopen" street by graffiti protest

By Nasser Nasser

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 29 2012 8:27 a.m. MDT

In this Tuesday, March 13, 2012 photo, members of a traditional Egyptian musical band prepare to perform during a ceremony to celebrate the imaginary opening of the "No Walls Street" at the end of the graffiti campaign to paint a reproduction of the streets behind them and targeted the concrete blocks walls in downtown Cairo, Egypt. After Egypt's ruling military sealed off streets around Cairo's Tahrir Square with walls of imposing concrete blocks, a group of artists decided to reopen the avenues on their own, in the public imagination, at least.

Nasser Nasser, Associated Press

CAIRO — After Egypt's ruling military sealed off streets around Cairo's Tahrir Square with walls of imposing concrete blocks, a group of artists decided to reopen the avenues on their own — in the public imagination, at least.

On one of the walls, they painted an exact trompe-l'oeil reproduction of the street behind it, as if it were open. The perspective painting matches up with the architecture of the neighboring buildings and even has some "pedestrians" strolling along the boulevard. The street's new name is "No Walls Street."

The graffiti piece is the work of the Revolution Artists Association, a group of young Egyptian artists who say the uprising against authorities in the country continues a year after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

They have covered walls around Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak uprising, with graffiti art, including portraits of protesters killed by security forces or the military.

Other graffiti pieces campaign for the rights of women or against humiliating "virginity tests" that soldiers conducted on detained female protesters. Others denounce military rule.

In recent days, protesters have taken to the streets to denounce Islamists' domination of an assembly created to write the next constitution and to protest authorities' slowness in prosecuting those accused in dozens of deaths during a soccer riot earlier this year.

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