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Vancouver Mural Festival exhibits vandalized

Last Updated Feb 26, 2021 at 7:08 pm PDT

Summary

Several Vancouver Mural Festival displays have been smashed and knocked over

Vancouver Mural Festival says team is saddened by vandalism to augmented reality exhibits

Images posted online show extensive damage to Van Mural Fest installations, with some being ripped up and others defaced

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A number of art pieces in Downtown Vancouver appear to have been vandalized.

The exhibits were part of the Vancouver Mural Festival and included some virtual reality booths.

Eddy Elmer was on an evening walk when he spotted the installations that had been smashed and knocked over at Hastings and Hornby streets.

“Then I walked past the Art Gallery and I saw the same thing — two more of the mural installations were smashed obviously with some kind of tool,” he told NEWS 1130 on Friday. “It must be very difficult for the artists. They put a lot of time and effort in this and they’re really passionate about it.”

The pieces were supposed to be on display until Sunday. Images posted online by Elmer show extensive damage to the installations, with some being ripped up and others defaced.

In one case, an entire display is toppled over.

The damage has come as a disappointment.

“We’re all living through a really dark and depressing time right now with COVID and stuck indoors a lot so it’s nice to go outside and see something cheerful every once in a while, especially during the winter,” Elmer explained. “I was in a pretty good mood last night when I went for my walk and then when I saw this it totally ruined my night.”

In a statement, the Vancouver Mural Festival’s executive director says the team is “saddened” by what happened to the augmented reality exhibits.

“Our team is busy assessing the damage, and will be removing pieces which are beyond repair,” Andrea Curtis said Friday. “Meanwhile, we’re grateful to the community who has been grabbing photos and alerting us of the damage. The general response to VMF Winter Arts has been tremendous, and we won’t let acts of vandalism deter us from continuing to bring works of public art to our streets.”

Elmer says police told him they had already received quite a few calls on the matter. He says it makes him feel a little less safe in this city because he’s noticed more street-level disorder since the pandemic began.