Halifax beautification project is defaced with graffiti
A mural, which began as an initiative to transform a gritty Halifax alley into a beautiful display of art, was vandalized sometime between Wednesday and Thursday. Despite being defaced, the project isn’t beyond repair.
Amber Solberg, one of the organizers behind the mural, located on Blowers Street, believes the vandalism took place sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday after she left the site.
"Sometime in broad daylight, in front of so many people, someone came by and just spray painted it,” says Solberg. “I feel sick just looking at it.”
With over 60 people working since July on the Beatles-themed mural, which includes Halifax influences, the project is only halfway complete – meaning any areas of the mural touched by graffiti need to be repainted.
"Typically, what happens is that, when this is done, it's kind of coated with an anti-graffiti finishing so you can't spray paint on it or you can’t remove the paint easy,” says Downtown Halifax Business Commission executive director, Paul MacKinnon. “Because of this, the paint actually can't be removed; it's going to have to be painted over."
Funded by Gritty to Pretty, Downtown Halifax’s beatification grant program, the mural received a generous amount of assistance from the organization already but will be receiving more funds to repair the damage.
"This was a fairly large mural project,” says MacKinnon. “We contributed $7,000 to it, and we're going to be contributing a little bit more to help with the costs of actually fixing it; so, the good news is this hasn't killed the project. It will be fixed up, and it will be completed and look great when it's done."
Despite the additional funding and support, the vandalism still upsets organizers.
"Honestly, I'm flabbergasted,” says Solberg. “Someone did this with the effect to do a lot of damage – they did every part of it, from left to right, up to down. There's no part that's untouched – it certainly seems to be a retaliatory measure to something."
Meanwhile, Halifax Regional Police are asking anyone who has information concerning the incident to contact them.
MacKinnon maintains the project is worth continuing with and says the defacement reinforces the need for projects like the mural in the city.
"It's just really unfortunate that in the process of trying to beautify something, someone just kind of took it upon themselves to really just wreck what is a beautiful community project," says MacKinnon.
Currently, there isn’t a timeline in place to repaint the mural and no leads on who may have vandalized it.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace