The Leader

Sharks grand final moment mural at Cronulla to be re-created in new VUE development

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The Up Up Cronulla mural on a building wall, showing Paul Gallen and Andrew Ettingshausen in a tearful embrace after the Sharks’ 2016 NRL grand final win, will live on.

The street art will be digitally reproduced in a photo of the same size displayed inside the VUE development, which will be built on the site.

The image will be near the entrance to Harris Farm Markets, the major retail tenant.

“It will be plastered on the wall, replicated exactly,” said Allen Sammut, chief executive of developer Sammut Group.

Paul Gallen and Andrew Ettingshausen in front of the mural at Cronulla.

“It will look exactly like it does now.”

NRL photographer Grant Trouville took the historic photo and street artist Sid Tapia took three and a half days to paint it on the wall of a shop on the corner of Kingsway and Croydon Street.

Ettingshausen and Gallen are delighted with the move.

“At some stage, this block was always going to be developed – it’s a great spot,” ET said.

“The fact that mural will live on is fantastic.

“It’s an amazing mural – you shake your head every time you see it, because it looks so real.

“There is not one bit of graffiti on it after all this time.”

Gallen said he thought the image would be quickly defaced.

“The fact it hasn’t been touched shows how much it means to the community and the Sharks

“The premiership was a long time coming and to be able to celebrate it with ET, a sharks legend, was an incredible moment.”

Mr Sammut, who was in the same year as Ettingshausen at De La Salle Caringbah and Cronulla, said the grand final win was “a moment in time for Cronulla, and I want to make sure that it is not lost”.

The old buildings on the site are due to be demolished in August this year and construction will take two years.

“We are even thinking about, when it is time to demolish, seeing if people might want to take a a brick from the wall,” Mr Sammut said.

Grant Trouville said his photo came about because, after the final whistle was blown, he decided “to stick with” the Sharks captain.

“There was some post-match celebrating and jumping around and a few minutes later I saw ET coming towards Gal and they locked eyes and touched foreheads and had a hug,” he said.

“The photo I took was just after the initial embrace. They were both crying, it was awesome. I was in the right spot at the right time.”

The NRL commissioned street artist Sid Tapia to create a mural version of the photograph. It was to be part of a series of murals that have gone into site-specific locations around Sydney.

Tapia said, “While I was painting, I had people shooting photographs, bringing their families along, and tooting their horns as they drove past. It’s an iconic image for the area. I know that there’s a lot of love and pride around it.”