Wildlife mural by Belgian street artist

Otago's wildlife will soon adorn the bricks and mortar of central Dunedin.

International street artist Roa, of Belgium, will arrive in the city today to create a two-storey artwork on the Diesoline Espresso and BrandAid building, at 7 Bath St.

Roa was recently part of a street art festival in Christchurch, where he painted a moa skeleton and native birds on the side of the Canterbury Museum.

Dunedin businesses and tourism organisations have provided financial support and materials for the artist to create a mural in the city.

BrandAid creative director Luke Johnston said he hoped the work would provoke discussion and pave the way for more street art in Dunedin.

Justin Cashell, of Tourism Dunedin, said Dunedin was the perfect location for one of Roa's murals, as it was considered the wildlife capital of New Zealand.

''We look forward to the attention this artwork will receive from locals, visitors, wildlife enthusiasts and art admirers alike. It's great to see Dunedin businesses realising the value this artwork will add to our city by coming on board with such fantastic support,'' he said.

The artist expected to complete the mural on Friday.

Born in 1976, Roa has become internationally renowned for his works on the city streets of Europe and the United States. His niche is wild animals, including rats and birds. Most were painted in black and white, and usually animals native to the country of the work.

He has painted a mural in Nelson, and in Australia he was commissioned to create a 25m artwork of a numbat, an endangered species and an emblem of Western Australia.

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