Baden-Württemberg: "Graffiti-Inge" transforms junction boxes into ambassadors

Leimen (dpa/lsw) - Inge Hess from Leimen, ugly junction boxes are a thorn in her side.

Baden-Württemberg: "Graffiti-Inge" transforms junction boxes into ambassadors

Leimen (dpa/lsw) - Inge Hess from Leimen, ugly junction boxes are a thorn in her side. She fights against the misery of these gray boxes with spray cans and witty sayings. The 80-year-old graffiti artist mainly shares her hobby with young men. That's why she unexpectedly became a celebrity in the city in the Rhein-Neckar district. In the meantime, perhaps more people associate the 27,000-inhabitant community with the sprightly senior citizen and her unusual pastime than with ex-tennis star Boris Becker, who also comes from Leimen. He's in a British prison, while "Graffiti-Inge" can hardly believe the nationwide attention she's been receiving in the press and on television.

It all started with the neglected power box across from her home. The eyesore annoyed her so much that she first used a sponge and cleaning agent and then a spray can. Other colors don't stick to the partly fibrous material, she explains. She uses stencils to apply motifs by the illustrator and children's book author Janosch and the British street artist Banksy to the areas, which are initially provided with a light background colour. She has already beautified 20 junction boxes in her area.

The commitment of the citizen is praised in the town hall. "The graffiti that unfortunately can be found everywhere, some of which show obscene, insulting or even anti-constitutional content, is a blot on the municipal image," says Mayor Hans Reinwald (CDU). Everything that contributes to making them disappear as quickly as possible, or even better not to appear at all, is therefore to be welcomed.

Hess finds it difficult to put graffiti sprayers in the corner of criminals. The senior citizen understands the impetuous, unconventional, sometimes brutal nature of the sprayed pictures: "The young people need an outlet," she says.

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