Should L.A.'s Murals Be Preserved?

Should Los Angeles try to preserve its rich heritage of 1,500 murals, which are rapidly fading and patched from graffiti?
September 7, 2004, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Seeing how other Angelenos have wanted their city seen requires some effort. It can mean a crisscross of road trips on and off the freeway and into unfamiliar neighborhoods where 1,500 exuberant murals on bridge abutments and housing projects picture a city embraced, questioned and thoroughly lived in...

A "zero-tolerance" policy for graffiti made Caltrans a partner with taggers in this vandalism. Taggers wrote on murals because state highway crews were slower to paint out graffiti there. In response, Caltrans began covering graffiti on murals with patches of institutional gray paint, turning works such as Twitchell's "The Runners" and Glenna Avila's "L.A. Freeway Kids" into ruins more than wall paintings — the freeways as a drive-by Pompeii, ourselves as barbarians at our own walls."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Monday, September 6, 2004 in The Los Angeles Times
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