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Pointe-Saint-Charles mural defaced by graffiti a chance to reconnect with community, creators say

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Several large graffiti tags have appeared on a popular Pointe-Saint-Charles mural. Though some find it hard to see the mural defaced, Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports the organizers of the art collective behind the mural say it's an opportunity to bring the community back together again – Oct 7, 2019

Several large graffiti tags appeared on a popular Pointe-Saint-Charles mural over the weekend.

The black-and-white markings stretch about half of the span of the 80-metre-long public art piece.

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Overlooking a popular bike path on Knox Street, residents say the mural is a fixture in the community and that the graffiti is disheartening.

“For me, this one being defaced is really rough on [the] Pointe-Saint-Charles community,” said Hawley Rigsby, a local resident.

READ MORE: Community outraged after Pointe-Saint-Charles mural vandalized

While some find it hard to see the mural defaced, the original organizers of the art collective behind the mural say it gives them an opportunity to get the community back together again.

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“I was upset for a couple of minutes,” said Au Pied du Mur project manager Margot Silvestro, adding: “For me, it’s a chance to mobilize the community.”

More than 200 people in the neighbourhood participated in the painting of the wall back in 2012.

Several families and children left their mark with handprints and names.

Over the years, many blemishes have marked the wall; some, Silvestro says, have been in incorporated into the artwork.

The collective doesn’t want any vengeance or hate to be harboured against the people who vandalized the wall.

“It’s a part of urban life,” Silvestro said.

“It’s not the first time, it’s not the last time. We’re just going to repaint the mural.”

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Unlike previous incidents of vandalism, Silvestro says the latest tags have no malicious intent behind them.

Back in 2013, the face of one of the black women depicted on the wall was painted white. The community condemned the racist gesture and repainted the face to its original state.

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That coming together is also what organizers hope to see this time around.

The face of a black woman depicted on the mural was defaced with white paint in 2013.
The face of a black woman depicted on the mural was defaced with white paint in 2013. Au Pieds Du Mur

The art collective is calling on the community for donations of exterior paint and manpower.

Organizers plan on removing and repainting the mural, Silvestro says. The work will take two weeks, and they hope to get started in the coming weeks.

Au Pied du Mur says it is inviting anyone in the community who wants to help to participate.

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