New mural at Pakistan High Commission makes a splash in Yarralumla
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New mural at Pakistan High Commission makes a splash in Yarralumla

Striking architecture and design are not complete unknowns among the embassies and high commissions of Canberra but the High Commission for Pakistan has really struck out by having a colourful mural painted on its exterior.

The green-backed mural of early leaders of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, has been painted on the grey concrete walls of the high commission in Perth Avenue, Yarralumla, just opposite the US Embassy.

Artist Shehzar Abro painted a mural on the facade of the High Commission for The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Artist Shehzar Abro painted a mural on the facade of the High Commission for The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.Credit:Jamila Toderas

Shehzar Abro, a 20-year-old Pakistani artist based in Sydney,  completed the work in the national capital over "two very cold nights and a day''.

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"I'm super happy with how it turned out. It's exactly how I envisioned it to be and more,'' he said.

Abro says it was "imperative to bring some culture and history to the building''. The nearly four-metre-high mural did the trick.

“Other than the sign at the front, there wasn’t really much indication that this building was the Pakistani High Commission. Now if people walk past it, they know at first sight.”

Artist Shehzar Abro alongside the mural he painted of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal on the façade of the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra.

Artist Shehzar Abro alongside the mural he painted of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal on the façade of the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, left on the mural, was a politician and lawyer who spearheaded the Pakistan movement. Allama Iqbal was poet and politician,  widely regarded to have envisioned the creation of Pakistan.

“The nation was born in the heart of Iqbal and prospered in the hands of Jinnah,” Abro said

The crowd at the opening of the striking mural on the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra.

The crowd at the opening of the striking mural on the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra.

In 2016, the Pakistan government was ordered to pay more than $1.6 million to the company that built its high commission in Canberra.

Megan Doherty is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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