Shoe manufacturing company Puma Thursday apologised for painting a heritage building in Old Delhi’s Chawri Bazar with graffiti for an advertisement campaign, and said it was “unintentional”. “It has never been PUMA’s intention to apply art on a landmark building. We sincerely apologise and will provide any support needed to the owner to restore the original condition of the building in cooperation with local authorities,” Puma India’s spokesperson said.
Puma said the company that was given the responsibility to identify the location and the house owner were not aware of the status of the building. “The owner had also approved the shooting… he too was not aware. The idea of the video shoot was to give local artists the opportunity to express their kind of art and music in a special way on a building,” the spokesperson added.
On Monday, The Indian Express had reported that the campaign led to backlash from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The matter was brought to light by INTACH’s Delhi Chapter Convenor Swapna Liddle, who said the walls of the building figures in the supplementary list of heritage sites.
Liddle said officials of the company that was handed the job to produce the advertisement met her and said they wanted to make amends. “I informed them that hasty attempts at restoration must not be taken without the supervision of experts and necessary clearances,” she said.
On Monday, Liddle had said the graffiti caused permanent damage to the carved sandstone, limestone plaster and Lahori bricks.