Posted by Fajer Ahmed
I am a big fan of street art and one of my favorite past times is to explore old Kuwaiti buildings looking for graffiti, taking photos and maybe collecting old bullets from the gulf war. But is it a crime to walk into old deserted buildings that the owner has neglected? Is it vandalism to tag those walls? Do the owners even know they are the owners?
I have to be honest, this topic is not something widely discussed in law school or at the office and I have never heard of a private law that discusses these matters, all I know of is the Kuwaiti Penal Law (yeah yeah yeah, the one with Rupees) include the rules for vandalism and trespassing. So let us look at the laws together:
1) Street Art or Vandalism?
First thing first, if you’re planning to tag a building you need to keep the following in mind. The building must not be a prayer place, a public office, a governmental building or a school building. The building should be abandoned with no one living in it or no one intending to fix it up to live in it (For example the amazing parking lot in old Salmiya and most of Failika island). I am also assuming your art is not just two circles with a pointy long oval in the middle.
If you want your canvas to be a new apartment complex or a mexican restaurant or a bookstore, then do what the amazing Monstariam does; get written consent from the owners first. Otherwise if the building has half a floor knocked off, no ceiling and 300 bullets have gone through it, then enjoy it. Just don’t be offensive please.
2) Exploring or Trespassing?
Article 254 and 255 both talk about entering buildings/trespassing owned by other people, but they also claim that the buildings should be in a possession of another person or inhabited by a person or is being prepared from someone to live in; and so the places that Mark (and I) have visited or intend to visit do not fall under those two articles.
PS: Does anyone have any creative ideas I could use with my collected bullets, please don’t tell me necklace.
Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
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The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.