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'Black Lives Matter' murals vandalized in Park City

Posted at 10:07 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 00:07:50-04

PARK CITY, Utah — Street art painted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was vandalized overnight Tuesday.

This past weekend, four murals were painted on Park City’s historic Main Street.

One which read, “Black Lives Matter” was defaced.

Gray paint was used to cover the word Black.

After the act of vandalism, the message read, “Lives Matter.”

A passersby expressed anger over the incident.

“It is wrong to erase peoples’ artwork and hard work that they had okayed by the city. So that part is wrong,” said Aaron Summerall, who is visiting Park City from Orem.

While he disagreed with the vandalism, he expressed concerns about the original messages of the murals.

“I agree with the message that all lives matter, not just Black ones,” Summerall said. “What they are doing is putting their thoughts and beliefs right there. So why is it wrong for someone else to put their thoughts and beliefs there.”

"Park City Mayor Andy Beerman released this statement in regard to the incident:

“Bias and systemic racism exist in our community. If we wish to overcome these, we must show courage to look inward, educate ourselves, and hold those around us accountable for their actions, and inaction.

"Painting over the Main Street murals last night was an act of petty vandalism and now becomes part of Park City’s history. We will use this event to further our community dialogue about social inequities.

"We salute the hundreds of onlookers, Arts Council, City staff and Police and, most importantly, the artists themselves: Bill Louis, Aljay Fuimaono, Mariella Mendoza, Alan Ochoa, Luis Novoa, and Miguel Galaz - who helped create the temporary murals on Main Street. They gave us a gift, and sparked an important conversation.

"Going forward, we welcome all sides to this conversation with the hope that we can learn and heal through mutual understanding. Showing up for the hard conversations shows conviction for building community.”

It remains unclear if police will actively search for the person or persons responsible.