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Making strolling through Georgetown’s streets just a little bit more exciting, in 2012 Penang’s municipal council hired London-trained Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic and charged him with breathing new life into some of the atmospheric Chinese shop-houses around the inner city.
An effort to spawn awareness of the rich history of the streets, the project was a success with Zacharevic turning certain areas into thriving tourist destinations that also became the much-talked about object of attention among locals. Zacharevic’s street art is the most widely known is the 20-foot high ‘Little Girl In Blue’, a mural of a young child dressed in ocean blue pyjamas flanked by the two real windows of its ‘canvas’ – a building along Muntri Street.
Found just down the road from Eastern & Oriental Hotel, right next to this giant painting is a concentration of brightly-coloured trishaws just waiting to take you to see some of the more obscure artwork around Georgetown. Prices start at about RM80 for a one-hour ride but you can whittle it down to a mere RM40 for a 30-minute journey.
The Chew Jetty, one of the Clan Jetties (communities with the same name who live in waterfront wooden houses on stilts) at Weld Quay, is home to another one of Zacharevic’s handiworks. Titled ‘Children in a Boat’, the piece features a pair of siblings (supposedly), with the boy at the helm of the boat looking out to the ocean and the girl, dressed in a simple white singlet and a red bow in her hair, at the opposite end holding an oar.