By ERWIN CHLANDA
Lauren Moss, the Minister controversially seeking ownership for the NT Government of Anzac Oval for the proposed Aboriginal art gallery, has rejected an application for heritage listing of the much-loved Coles Mural (at left).
Ms Moss is the Minister responsible for tourism and culture as well as heritage.
She has not responded to a question from the Alice Springs News Online about whether the listing was recommended by the Heritage Council, and whether any recommendation was unanimous.
A spokesperson for Ms Moss (pictured) provided the following statement to the News this afternoon: “It is rare for murals to be heritage-listed except in the case where murals are painted on historic buildings.
“In the case of the Coles Mural, the building on which the mural is painted is a modern building with no heritage significance.
“There was an opportunity to provide comment during a 28 day consultation period. Only one submission was received, which came from the building owner.
“On July 19 the Minister confirmed her decision not to declare the Coles Mural as a heritage place on the basis that it would be an unreasonable imposition on the owner of the building on which the mural is painted to have it permanently protected by the Heritage Act; and the mural has been carefully documented as part of the process of assessing its heritage significance.”
We are seeking comment from the chairman of the Heritage Council, Wayne Craft.
The mural has a history going back to the early days of self-government, and is much photographed by tourists. It is one of the key works produced by the prominent local artist Kaye Kessing.
It is an early and relatively rare expression of an aspirational bicultural – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – identity for the town.
By ERWIN CHLANDA