Lighthouse Theatre to keep Rolf Harris mural

A MURAL painted by Rolf Harris is likely to remain at the Lighthouse Theatre despite the entertainer being found guilty on 12 charges of indecent assault.

A mural painted by disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is likely to remain at the Lighthouse Theatre. 101208RG08 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

A mural painted by disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is likely to remain at the Lighthouse Theatre. 101208RG08 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

The impromptu painting on the loading dock wall was made by the 84-year-old entertainer during a visit in 1986.

When the theatre was renovated, the mural was covered with perspex to protect it from damage.

But the British court case, where a jury found Harris guilty of indecently assaulting four girls from 1968 to 1986, has raised questions about what happens to his artworks around the world.

Warrnambool City Council chief executive Bruce Anson said he believed the artwork should remain.

“We don’t burn books and I don’t think we should destroy art,” Mr Anson said.

“I’m not justifying in any way what has happened (but) I don’t think we should destroy art as a result of inappropriate behaviour.

“Many of our great artists had foibles.

“But art is art for its own sake.”

As the mural is part of the wall, it would be almost impossible to remove without destroying. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that artworks were being taken down at two of Harris’ former schools, Perth Modern School and Edith Cowan University, while two councils in Harris’ home state of Western Australia were figuring out what to do about monuments made in the entertainer’s honour.

The BBC reported that Harris could lose his CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) as normal protocol involves honours from Buckingham Palace being forfeited when the recipient is considered to have brought the system into disrepute.

He will also lose his BAFTA Fellowship honour from the British Film industry and has been removed from the ARIA Hall Of Fame.

The 84-year-old entertainer will remain on bail pending a medical report before his sentencing on Friday, with many media outlets predicting jail time.

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