Artwork from the Hub City Walls mural festival was vandalized only a week after the artist had added the finishing touches.
Black paint was discovered splashed on the ‘Harbour City Livin’ mural at the Bastion Street parkade Friday.
The mural, by Austin Weflen, was one of three pieces commissioned as part of the inaugural Hub City Walls festival which saw three murals painted in downtown Nanaimo between Aug. 5-15.
Lauren Semple, festival producer, told the News Bulletin the vandalism was discovered late Friday night and a report was filed with Nanaimo RCMP.
“We checked them all this morning and every other mural is great, so it’s just this one and it seems to be targeted…” said Semple. “Normally when you see folks throw paint on a piece like that, it’s intended just to wreck it.”
One of the festival’s other murals, on Cavan Street, garnered attention and accusations about inappropriate content, but Semple said she didn’t think the vandalism was due to that controversy.
“I don’t think they’re connected at all,” she said.
Semple said because the Bastion Street mural is on City of Nanaimo property, the city will take the lead on cleaning the mural.
“We’re going to try,” she said. “We’re dealing with it. I’m not too sure what we’re going to do yet, or how well it’s going to work, but we’re going to try our best.”
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Overall, Semple said she was happy with the festival.
“It was excellent art, excellent weather. The artists created some amazing murals that brought diverse, vibrant, artistic styles and designs to downtow,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what’s possible for 2021.”