End of the Invaders - mosaic artworks are removed from Malaga's historic buildings

A mosaic comes down on the corner of Plaza Merced in Malaga's historic centre.
A mosaic comes down on the corner of Plaza Merced in Malaga's historic centre. / Paco Villalobos
  • Malaga city council was ordered to have the controversial pieces taken down, but as yet has not done so from the sites it owns itself

A year ago the centre of Malaga was subjected to an invasion of colourful mosaic artworks. In total 29 pieces, shaped like icons from a Space Invaders game, appeared on the side of city buildings.

Now they are being taken down by the owners, none of whom asked for them in the first place but some of whom have grown attached to their colourful presence.

The scandal caused by their installation lies in the fact that half of them were put up on listed buildings. The works were by the French artist known only as Invader, who is suspected of organising the original installation, in conjunction with the city's CAC contemporary art centre, as a promotion ahead of a planned exhibition.

Recently the enigmatic Invader, if he or she can be identified and found, and the director of the town-hall-funded CAC, Fernando Francés, were told they would be facing a formal judicial investigation.

Meanwhile the Junta de Andalucía regional government, which is responsible for controlling listed buildings, ordered Malaga council to remove the artworks, saying that, as the town hall pays for the CAC, it is its job to have them removed. The council in turn wrote to the buildings' owners giving them two weeks to take them down, although helpfully offering to have council employees do it at a cost of 2,700 euros each. As a result building owners have been picking the mosaic pieces off themselves.

Ironically the council hasn't taken down the couple on its own buildings yet, saying it is waiting for funds to be approved and that it hopes to remove and preserve them intact.