Queensland hotel makes most of Justin Bieber graffiti with wall art competition

When Justin Bieber spray-painted the wall of his hotel while touring in Australia, the owners must have thought they had won the jackpot.

It immediately started encouraging fans to come and see the singer's handiwork and now has introduced a competition for local graffiti artists to add their own designs to the building.

But the QT Hotel in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, has a battle on its hands as the city council confirmed it would order the removal of the hotel's newest attraction.

Graffiti on a wall inside the complex of the exclusive QT Hotel at Surfers Paradise

Star appeal: Justin Bieber spray-painted a figure (second left) on the wall of the QT Hotel while his entourage added their own figures, sparking a row over graffiti in the city

Bieber and his entourage spray-painted several figures onto the wall of the hotel following his first concert in nearby Brisbane, causing a furore in a city where the council claims it is trying to combat 'the scourge of graffiti'.

However, following media interest, the hotel has hurriedly claimed that the star asked for permission to paint, which they granted, and has now offered the competition for local street artists.

While the city's mayor Tom Tate said the government would be asking the hotel to remove the bright paintings, the hotel has celebrated the designs, encouraging fans to come and see them.

It has also commented that the graffiti is on private land so is not an issue - although a council spokesperson explained that the offending art is in 'prominent public view'.

Justin Bieber on stage during his performance iJustin Bieber on stage during his performance in Brisbanen Brisbane

On tour: Bieber spray painted the hotel following his concert in Brisbane

The mayor called for Bieber to return to the Gold Coast to clean up the graffiti, or to appear at a carol concert to show good will to the city. He also sent a graffiti removal kit to the hotel.

However, the hotel, which claims to be supportive of the Gold Coast arts scene - has jumped in to support the singer, updating its Facebook page to an image of him and the graffiti with the comment 'He asked, and we said yes.'

A statement issued by the hotel read: 'Whilst unable to comment while Justin Bieber was staying in the resort due to privacy reasons, the property can now state that it was a coup for the hotel to have Justin want to paint a piece of art in appreciation of his stay.

'This piece of art is now available to be viewed by fans of the artist and we believe that it is a wonderful addition to the colourful Gold Coast arts scene.'

On its Facebook page, the hotel also rubbished the media frenzy caused by the graffiti, accusing website news.com.au for making up a quote, reportedly from a staff member, stating that the hotel lets guests do whatever they want.

It also launched a competition 'to make it into something positive for the arts community' and is looking for graffiti artists who want to add their own designs to the wall, asking them to submit works that represent the great things about the Gold Coast.

The graffiti has become a local attraction for Bieber fans

Sightseeing: The graffiti has become a local attraction for Bieber fans

Signing off at the end of the message, the hotel states: 'Remember guys, putting crap on someone else for their art is not cool. Everyone has a right to have a go at self expression (when they do it responsibly). Please share!'

The competition has so far garnered more than 170 comments on Facebook, both positive and negative.

User Matthew Reed wrote: 'The fact you let him get away with it is rather disappointing, where's your self respect. If it was any other guest, a kid off the street i bet it would be a different story.' [SIC]

But in response, the hotel posted: 'We haven't done anything wrong, we are not saying it even happened at our hotel, and even if it did it's nobodies [SIC] business but ours how or why it happened. Let's focus on what is actually happening - that the hotel is getting behind the arts community and making something nice come out of some seriously average journalism.'

It's not the first time the star has caused problems by spray-painting when he is on tour. Most recently he has been seen daubing graffiti on walls in Brazil and Colombia.

In the Colombian capital Bogota, street art is legal, but in Rio de Janeiro it is seen as a misdemeanor - a claim in the Brazilian city has now been put in to issue the star with a fine.