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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

VANDALS TARGET LOS ANGELES’ MURALS





Vandals target Los Angeles’ murals
An increasing graffiti problem is threatening the future of the city’s public works of art—and artists’ rights laws aren’t helping

By Emily Sharpe From issue 228, October 2011
Published online 30 Sep 11 (Conservation)

Los Angeles. As Los Angeles’ graffiti problem escalates, the city’s reputation as the mural capital of the world is in jeopardy as its famous wall pieces are disappearing under a sea of spray paint. They are being targeted by vandals who flout the long accepted code that they are off limits for tagging. Delays in removing the graffiti caused by technical and legal complexities, including the threat of possible artists’ rights lawsuits if murals are damaged during their cleaning, can invite more graffiti.

Murals have been a part of the city’s rich artistic fabric for generations. The 1960s and 1970s saw an explosion of public murals with artists such as Frank Romero following in the footsteps of pioneering muralists, including David Alfaro Siqueiros whose downtown mural América Tropical, 1932, is nearing the end of a 23-year conservation project. Murals continued to be a popular form of public art into the 1980s when several were commissioned for the 1984 Olympics Games in Los Angeles. The city boasts around 2,000 murals including the recently restored The Great Wall of Los Angeles, begun in 1976, which at 2,750 ft is the world’s longest.

Read full article here.

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