Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

You'll never guess where this record-breaking mural is

April 14, 2014 -- Updated 0244 GMT (1044 HKT)
The multicolor artwork made by Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul and his team is the world's largest mural made of recycled materials, according to Guinness World Records. The multicolor artwork made by Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul and his team is the world's largest mural made of recycled materials, according to Guinness World Records.
HIDE CAPTION
Syria's record-breaking mural
Syria's record-breaking mural
Syria's record-breaking mural
Syria's record-breaking mural
Syria's record-breaking mural
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World's largest mural made from recycled materials is 720 square meters
  • Built by a team of six artists in upscale neighborhood in Damascus, Syria
  • Made from broken mirrors, car parts, ceramic and other pieces of scrap

(CNN) -- With no end in sight for the Syrian civil war, it's mostly grim pictures that come out from the country.

Yet a group of artists in the capital, Damascus, have created a colorful, vibrant piece of work that is seen as a symbol of hope in the war-ravaged nation -- and setting a Guinness world record as well.

In January, Moaffak Makhoul and his team of six artists completed a mural made of assorted scrap -- broken mirrors, ceramics pieces, soft-drink cans, pipes, cooking utensils, bicycle wheels and car parts.

Saving Syria cultural treasures

Guinness World Records announced on their Facebook page in late March that the multicolor artwork, measuring 720 square meters (7,750 square feet), is the world's largest mural made of recycled materials.

Millions of birds migrate in Galiliee

"In the difficult conditions that the country is going through," lead artist Makhoul told Reuters. "We wanted to give a smile to the people, joy to the children, and show people that the Syrian people love life, love beauty, love creativity."

The soundtrack to Egypt's revolution

They started working on the mural in October 2013. The artists scoured the materials themselves, but they got some help too. Local housewives donated bits and pieces of things that they would otherwise throw away. Many people came from war zones to give their house keys or other personal objects to the artists.

The mural wall runs along a key motorway through the center of Damascus, in the upscale neighborhood of Al Mazzeh. The work was completed two months before the third anniversary of the Syrian conflict.

The vibrant outdoor artwork has brought people out onto the street, giving them a chance to enjoy art, bringing more sense of normalcy to their life -- and perhaps even easing some pressures.

"All sorts of people have come to see it," Rajaa Wabi, one of the artists, told Agence France-Presse. "The mural has reunited (Syrians)."

The Syrian war, which began in March 2011, has killed more than 150,000 people. Millions have been forced to flee their homes, to other parts of the country or abroad. The violence has also taken toll on the country's infrastructure, economy and urban life.

"The mural gives us hope again," said Souheil Amayri, a professor who helped the project, as quoted by AFP. "Creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction."

Read: Creating a safe haven for Syrian artists fleeing war

Read: Syrian artist's vision of love amid devastation of war goes viral

Read: The Syrian filmmakers aiming to change your view of the war

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0346 GMT (1146 HKT)
Robot dinosaurs, Lego men and Spider-Man all could become Dubai's newest residents.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
Not long ago camel milk was an unfancied staple, the preserve of Bedouin herders. Now its becoming a luxury.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
Managing over 2 million people during the Hajj takes some serious technology.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT)
More needs to be done so women from Saudi Arabia can become world champions in sports.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
Is nothing sacred? How tech allows narcissism to run riot.
From the waters of the Persian Gulf a new mega museum is emerging.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
Where better to start a record-breaking solar powered flight than the desert?
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
Ahmed Eldin is the 18-year-old behind the prog-rock band's new album cover. Shine on you crazy diamond.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
The Humans of New York photo project exposes the hopes and fears of ordinary people in Iraq and Jordan.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT)
Dubai's appetite for construction continues with multi-billion dollar boost to build the world's largest airport.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0302 GMT (1102 HKT)
The UAE is becoming a hub for plastic surgery with more Emiratis going under the knife each year.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1120 GMT (1920 HKT)
Meet Erdal Inci, a digital artist from Turkey who is transforming the medium.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
Iran is pumping billions of dollars into a scheme to save a lake. What's so important about it?
ADVERTISEMENT