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This large mural on the walls of a U-shaped structure has been stripped, cleaned and painted over by its original artist, known as Jorkar 7. It shows the deportation of Jews from Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1944, based on a photograph taken by a city policeman. The stark black-and-white work stands out among the colorful graffiti at the Schlacthof, the city's former slaughterhouse district. The finished work will be part of a park that is still being created.
This large mural on the walls of a U-shaped structure has been stripped, cleaned and painted over by its original artist, known as Jorkar 7. It shows the deportation of Jews from Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1944, based on a photograph taken by a city policeman. The stark black-and-white work stands out among the colorful graffiti at the Schlacthof, the city's former slaughterhouse district. The finished work will be part of a park that is still being created. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This large mural on the walls of a U-shaped structure has been stripped, cleaned and painted over by its original artist, known as Jorkar 7. It shows the deportation of Jews from Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1944, based on a photograph taken by a city policeman. The stark black-and-white work stands out among the colorful graffiti at the Schlacthof, the city's former slaughterhouse district. The finished work will be part of a park that is still being created.
This large mural on the walls of a U-shaped structure has been stripped, cleaned and painted over by its original artist, known as Jorkar 7. It shows the deportation of Jews from Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1944, based on a photograph taken by a city policeman. The stark black-and-white work stands out among the colorful graffiti at the Schlacthof, the city's former slaughterhouse district. The finished work will be part of a park that is still being created. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This brightly colored mural Is one of the recent additions to a wall in Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district - once a mecca for graffiti artists and still a place where their work can be seen.
This brightly colored mural Is one of the recent additions to a wall in Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district - once a mecca for graffiti artists and still a place where their work can be seen. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
Jorkar 7 points to a photo showing one of the men he has added to the mural he recently did for a memorial to deported Jews in Wiesbaden, Germany. The memorial is part of a park being created in the city's former slaughterhouse district, the site of several pieces of long-lasting graffiti art. A dedication ceremony was held two weeks ago on the grounds of the nearly finished park.
Jorkar 7 points to a photo showing one of the men he has added to the mural he recently did for a memorial to deported Jews in Wiesbaden, Germany. The memorial is part of a park being created in the city's former slaughterhouse district, the site of several pieces of long-lasting graffiti art. A dedication ceremony was held two weeks ago on the grounds of the nearly finished park. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This mural of a perching bird, painted in front of a shuttered window that makes it almost appear as if it is in a cage, is near the Theodore Heus Bridge in Mainz-Kastel, Germany. It will be painted over this weekend by other graffiti artists.
This mural of a perching bird, painted in front of a shuttered window that makes it almost appear as if it is in a cage, is near the Theodore Heus Bridge in Mainz-Kastel, Germany. It will be painted over this weekend by other graffiti artists. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This photo, taken in 2008, show one of the brightly colored murals that were common at the Schlathof, Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district, before many of the walls were demolished to make way for the memorial park.
This photo, taken in 2008, show one of the brightly colored murals that were common at the Schlathof, Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district, before many of the walls were demolished to make way for the memorial park. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This figure is painted under the Theodor Heuss  bridge under Mainz-Kastel, Germany. The area will be the site of a Meeting of Styles gathering of graffiti artists this weekend.
This figure is painted under the Theodor Heuss bridge under Mainz-Kastel, Germany. The area will be the site of a Meeting of Styles gathering of graffiti artists this weekend. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This large mural in Mainz-Kastel claims to show the town's Roman past. It was painted by 20 artists who were authorized to do so by the owner who offered it for their use. The wall borders a public parking in rear.
This large mural in Mainz-Kastel claims to show the town's Roman past. It was painted by 20 artists who were authorized to do so by the owner who offered it for their use. The wall borders a public parking in rear. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
Many of the Schlathof 'canvases' may be gone, but artists still find places to work, as this  recently sprayed mural at Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district show.
Many of the Schlathof 'canvases' may be gone, but artists still find places to work, as this recently sprayed mural at Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district show. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
This message, 'Only God can judge,' is a new addition to the graffiti scene at the Schlathofn in Wiesbaden, Germany.
This message, 'Only God can judge,' is a new addition to the graffiti scene at the Schlathofn in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
While demolition of several buildings in Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district has obliterated much of the graffiti that brightened the area, there is still some creative works, including this one that is still there.
While demolition of several buildings in Wiesbaden's former slaughterhouse district has obliterated much of the graffiti that brightened the area, there is still some creative works, including this one that is still there. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
Polish graffiti artist BO1Graffik - Bartek Kedzirski from Wroclaw - creates a new mural on an area legally designated for graffiti at a playground in the heart of Wiesbaden, Germany.
Polish graffiti artist BO1Graffik - Bartek Kedzirski from Wroclaw - creates a new mural on an area legally designated for graffiti at a playground in the heart of Wiesbaden, Germany. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
A pair of foreign artists rest in front of  some graffiti they created during the of a new cultural and recreation park in the former slaughterhouse district of  Wiesbaden, Germany - a city that has received the nickname of the graffiti Capital of Germany because of that area.
A pair of foreign artists rest in front of some graffiti they created during the of a new cultural and recreation park in the former slaughterhouse district of Wiesbaden, Germany - a city that has received the nickname of the graffiti Capital of Germany because of that area. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)
Matilda du Tacker  works on a new mural on an area legally designated for graffiti at a playground in the heart of Wiesbaden, Germany.
Matilda du Tacker works on a new mural on an area legally designated for graffiti at a playground in the heart of Wiesbaden, Germany. (Peter Jaeger/Stars and Stripes)

Let’s face it, there is more than one way to look at graffiti.

Most of it is quickly and poorly done, a smear on public property, an eyesore to most who see it.

Some, however, is a work of art, a boldly painted mural on a legally designated spot.

While some sprayers end up in jail, others wind up in art galleries.

The latter can be examined around Wiesbaden, often called the Graffiti Capital of Germany by insiders. It got that name after the city closed its slaughterhouse district near the main train station in the 1990s. Soon the empty main building was hosting alternative rock concerts, and young, self-taught artists were using the outside walls as exhibition space for graffiti art, creating a large open-air gallery. It received the blessing of the city — and even financial support — and soon became a cultural addition to the old spa city’s operas, concerts and museums.

While music fans packed the inside of the Schlachthof concert hall, the buildings’ exteriors became a mecca for spray-painting taggers. They used the walls as canvases for their colorful works, and the grounds for their so-called “wall street meetings,” also legalized by the city of Wiesbaden. Every year well-known international graffiti artists gathered in the city for these meetings and to spray their imaginative, wild and creative images onto the large concrete walls of the former slaughterhouses.

Standing out among the colorful creations is a black-and-white scene painted on one side of a large, U-shaped structure. Done in photo realistic style, it shows a group of people entering a train behind a grate. It captures one moment of one of Wiesbaden’s darkest hours, the deportation of its Jewish citizen to the death camps in eastern Europe.

The mural was originally sprayed by a young Wiesbaden artist known as Jorkar 7, using a photograph taken by a policeman in 1944. Found in an archive in Wiesbaden, the photo documents the original historical location of the ramp, exactly where Jorkar created his impressive image.

Recently, the wall was thoroughly cleaned and Jorkar redid the painting. The whole site has been transformed into a memorial for the deported Jews and has been incorporated into a cultural and recreational park that is being completed on the old slaughterhouse grounds. An opening ceremony for the park was held last month.

While the park is helping preserve the mural, it is not all good news for graffiti artists and their fans. Several old building in the area were torn down, and the “wall street meetings” were forced to find a new location, and name, for their annual gatherings.

They did not have to go far.

About eight years ago they began meeting in nearby Mainz-Kastel underneath the big traffic circle at the beginning of the Theodor Heuss bridge, which crosses the Rhine River and connects it with the city of Mainz. The gathering is part of the international “Meeting of Styles,” and this week, from Friday through Sunday, 80 artists from Germany, Poland, Hungary, South America and elsewhere will cover some 32,000 square feet of walls with fresh murals, according to Manuel Gerullis, a Wiesbaden graffiti artist and organizer of the MOS.

The artists — who most years include some Americans — go by names like Three Steps, Stick Up Kids and Urban Code. They work together under a main concept, but each in their own style. Their work is creative and colorful — and often political, criticizing the establishment. While they work, disc jockeys provide music for the spectators who come to join in the fun.

Graffiti art often has a short life, and even complex murals can be sprayed over within days or weeks. However, an unwritten code of honor among artists maintains that the new work has to be better than the one underneath, says Gerullis. That is why some samples last for a long time.’

The images on this page were collected during the past four years at the Sclachthof, under the Theodor Heuss bridge and elsewhere in Mainz-Kastel. They show a variety of styles and the high artistic quality of some of the longer-lasting works.

One newly painted wall shown at top right page illustrates Mainz-Kastel’s Roman past. Twenty artists worked together under the supervision of End of the Line and Pennine Nomads. The huge artwork overlooking a parking lot was designed to stay and permanently brighten up the area, part of what Gerullis proudly calls graffiti’s “colorful revolution.”

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