KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) can claim rights over the “Lunar Peaks” sculpture created by Syed Ahmad Jamal at the Jalan Sulaiman roundabout here.
Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said Syed Jamal had taken DBKL to court after the latter upgraded the arch in 1989 using its own funds.
“Pursuant to the case, the court decided that City Hall should compensate the original creator after which the sculpture would belong to DBKL,” he said in a media statement here yesterday.
He was commenting on DBKL’s action to demolish the arch recently based on several factors.
Among the factors, he said, were that the arch was derelict and unsafe for the public to be around, subjected to vandalism, and a security concern with the presence of drug addicts and vagrants.
Tengku Adnan said the drainage around the site had also not been maintained and had become a source for breeding of aedes mosquito.
“The site is also part of the River of Life project which is being implemented,” he said.
He said the water feature sculpture was built in 1986 under the UMBC sponsorship and child adoption scheme. At the time, the bank had its headquarters next to Taman Mini Puncak Purnama.
“The arch was neglected and as a responsible local authority, DBKL had upgraded it in 1998 using its own funds,” he said.
Meanwhile, family members of the late National Art laureate said they were not informed of DBKL’s move and were upset when they found out that the sculpture had been demolished.
Syed Jamal’s son, Syed Nabil Jamal, told reporters at a press conference at the National Visual Arts Gallery (BSVN) here yesterday, that the family only found out on Friday that his late father’s sculpture had been demolished.
His mother, Hamidah Noor, who was present at the press conference, said there were no words to describe how she felt regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, National Visual Arts Development Board chairman Mahadzir Lokman urged artists and arts practitioners nationwide to register their works with BSVN.
“The registration is needed so that their artworks can be preserved and protected by BSVN to avoid any unwanted incidents in the future,” he said.