Payouts spur art-house movement
The seaside town of Danang is in the grip of an art explosion, but it is hard cash and not aesthetics driving the boom.
Hundreds of homeowners in the central Vietnamese city rushed to get their homes covered in murals once they learned it would increase the compensation they would receive from the government, which is demolishing homes to build a new road. A local official said most of the 726 houses in one neighbourhood had received extra compensation for such artwork, most done shortly before workers started clearing land.
According to the Tuoi Tre newspaper, the outpouring of art was triggered by one homeowner who exploited municipal laws which have detailed rules on how home improvements, including artwork, are compensated for in the event of expropriation.
Paintings are compensated for at rates of up to US$10 per square metre, so he simply hired house painters to cover his home with murals, and hundreds of others followed suit.
Animals and nature scenes were popular themes, the newspaper said.