California street artist ABOVE managed to get away with spray painting an anti-diamond industry message outside one of the world's largest diamond trading centers.
First, ABOVE obtained formal permission to paint the first half of his message, the familiar slogan, "Diamonds are a woman's best friend," outside the walls of Johannesburg's largest diamond exporter, known as Jewel City. But he then added, "And a man's worst enemy."
Jewel City, a six-block precinct, is home to a reported 300 diamond traders and South Africa's Diamond Board and State Traders Association.
The street artist created the mural to protest "blood diamonds." There has been a growing opposition to the procurement and sale of diamonds from African war zones. In December 2000, the United Nations first spoke out against what it calls "Conflict Diamonds," citing a claim between "the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict."
In an interview with the website Arrested Motion, ABOVE says:
"I was able to get away with this diamond wall heist because I told the owners I would paint in big letters 'Diamonds are a woman's best friend' on the exterior of their building. The owners loved the idea and all quickly agreed. The next day I had started painting but what the owners didn't know is that I lied to them and was hijacking their wall."Read More »from Anti-diamond graffiti in South Africa’s ‘Jewel City’