Napier Waller town hall murals to get a facelift

By Louis Blake

The murals adorning Melbourne Town Hall are getting a facelift.

Originally painted in 1927, the murals have been restored periodically since then, with the last restoration being about 20 years ago.

Much like the works themselves, the artist is worthy of far greater public attention.

Born in 1893, Napier Waller lost his dominant right arm during World War I.

Showing grit and determination, Waller was still determined to pursue his art. After re-learning his craft with his non-preferred hand Waller would go on to create several large-scale pieces around Melbourne.

His work can be found in the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne University, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and on Newspaper House on Collins St.  All in all, Waller has 11 pieces around the CBD.

The restoration of Waller’s work is expected to run over 12 weeks and will cost about $30,000.

All efforts will be made by the council to ensure that hall hire is not impacted by the conservation work. So, next time you’re wandering the streets of Melbourne and you happen upon a grand mural, just take a moment to reflect on the courage and determination of the man who was most likely the mind behind the striking work.

Stories like Napier Waller’s typify the incredible tales that are written all throughout our city. All we have to do is lift the lid and be a little curious.

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