Egypt's new Prime minister, Hisham Kandil August 2, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil on Thursday called on young Egyptian artists to beautify Cairo's Tahrir Square in an effort to transform it into a platform for free expression and a memorial to the "martyrs" of last year's revolution.
Qandil's statements came one day after a decision by Egyptian authorities to remove revolutionary street art from the walls of Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Street, the site of several post-revolution clashes between protesters and security forces.
Over the past several months, spray-painted images – depicting activists slain during the revolution and caricatures of ruling figures – have adorned the street's walls, despite attempts by authorities to remove the political artwork.
On Wednesday, following a wave of criticism, Egypt's defence ministry denied reports that it had ordered the removal of the graffiti, attributing the decision instead to Cairo municipal authorities.
Qandil later condemned the recent decision to remove the murals, saying the move "stands against efforts to keep the revolution's memory alive."