Opinion

Mural is a reason to visit

By Shepparton News

The prominent mural at the Welsford St entrance to Shepparton’s Tirana City Walk has seen better days.

But Greater Shepparton City Council and other stakeholders could work together to see it updated and restored to close to its former glory.

The reality is larger-than-life street art has many and varied benefits.

It holds plum tourism opportunities, creates atmosphere in cities, and gives people who otherwise might drift through the city reason to pull off the freeway and check out the art.

The first case here has to be Benalla with its excellent Wall to Wall Festival, which has seen the town gain prominence and volumes of visitors each year — during the festival and year-round — who are interested in taking a look at the street art.

It has seen economic benefits resulting from this.

Elsewhere, a number of old, disused silos in small agricultural towns around the region are being reinvigorated with massive murals, while a silo art trail is growing for visitors to follow across parts of the Goulburn Valley.

In Shepparton in recent years, three magnificent murals have been created to commemorate the region’s indigenous icons.

In the case of the Tirana City Walk mural in question, there also happens to be historic value attached.

It is clear a number of people believe in its historic and cultural value, as evidenced by the mural’s heritage listing.

The figure of $60000 is far from princely to see the work upgraded.

Especially given possible benefits from such an investment.

We know some parts of Shepparton’s central business district still have higher shop vacancy rates than desired.

Perhaps connected with this is a perception these parts of the city are not natural magnets for foot traffic or shoppers.

Reinvigorating a mural like this can only improve people’s interest in taking a wander around this part of the central business district.

The cost may be determined to be high, but perhaps some of these possible benefits from reinvigorating the work could be looked at in justifying the update.

For now, it’s a conversation The News thinks is worth having.