Wall piece by street artist Blek Le Rat saved in Leipzig

Blek Le Rat's «Madonna and Child» is back. photo: Hendrik Schmidt

A mural painting by French street artist Blek Le Rat has been presented to the public in Leipzig on Friday. According to the statement given by town officials, Blek Le Rat’s (real name: Xavier Prou) «Madonna with Child» is his oldest preserved piece of work of this type.

The rediscovery of the graffito was a little sensation. The Frenchman sprayed the «Madonna with Child» during a stay in Leipzig in 1991 -  as a profession of love to his future wife. The building went to rack and ruin, the graffito disappeared behind posters. In 2012, it was finally rediscovered by Maxi Kretzschmar (29), a citizen of Leipzig.

As a child, she was often passing by the mural painting and liked the «Madonna» very much, said Kretzschmar. When the building was prepared for a refurbishment and the posters were removed, she immediately recognised the graffito. She pulled out all the stops to save the mural.

«At the beginning, we had little use for the mural» Horst Langner, head of the real estate company, explained. He shunned the responsibility for the art work, he worried that the building works might have to be halted. Meanwhile, he has changed his mind: «It is a great story. People are approaching us and asking about the mural.» Even sightseeing busses stop by the graffito.

The artist was deeply moved. The graffito is of high importance for him. He made the mural for a beloved woman. Sibylle and Xavier are a couple to this day. The mural piece is one of his earliest works of this type – it is now registered on the list of landmarks, and protected by a glass panel. The investor and the town authorities spend 9000 Euros to preserve the mural. It can be seen on house number 7 on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße.