'Highway' – Stockholm, Sweden - Atlas Obscura


Locals rallied to save this beloved mural after someone mistakenly attempted to cover it. 


The mural “Highway” stretches across a wall in Rågsved, in southern Stockholm. It was painted in August 1989 by the graffiti crew Still Heavens Only Force and is heralded as one of the world’s oldest preserved graffiti murals. 

Almost 30 years after its debut, in August 2019, local residents were shocked to see that someone was covering the mural with dark blue paint. Someone had mistaken the iconic and loved mural for vandalism and decided to paint the wall. Concerned locals told the painter to stop and started fetching water to wash away the new blue paint, attempting to save as much of the mural as they could. 

Multiple ways to move forward to save the graffiti were discussed, but as of September 2019, the wall and mural have been left as-is. Conservator-restorers usually working with medieval paintings have been put on the case to see what they can do, and the creators of “Highway” have been asked whether they could recreate the covered portion.

André Almqvist, one of the creators of “Highway,” commented on this suggestion by saying that the crew would have to think about it since none of them had had a spray can in their hands for a long time. At the same time, he argues, there’s a charm in leaving it the way it is now with a blue paint scar tissue covering parts of it.

Know Before You Go

"Highway" is located in Rågsved, right next to the metro station (green line southbound from the central station towards Hagsätra). It's on the right hand side, right across the street, after you exit the station through the gates.

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