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Hidden for Nearly Thirty Years, Keith Haring Mural Is Uncovered in Amsterdam

After nearly three decades, a forty-foot mural by Keith Haring was revealed in Amsterdam last week, the New York Times reports. The artist completed the work—which features a massive hybrid creature being ridden by one of his iconic X-marked figures—when he was visiting the city for his first solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1986. Located on the brick exterior of the institution’s former storage facility, the piece was covered with aluminum insulation panels only a few years later.

The Dutch graffiti artist Aileen Middel (Mick La Rock), a longtime admirer of Haring’s work, began to stir interest in making the mural visible to the public again after she learned of its existence four years ago. She collaborated with the Haring Foundation, the gallerist Olivier Varossieau, and the Stedelijk Museum to have the panels removed. While the building on which the work resides is now owned by Marktkwartier West, a major food center in the city, the mural is the property of the foundation.

Its unveiling follows the reinstallation of Keith Haring Velum, a monumental painted canopy that the artist created for the same 1986 exhibition, which was his first show in the Netherlands. Conservationists Will Shank and Antonio Rava were tapped to restore the piece.

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