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Graffiti defaces San Francisco murals

Dec. 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- San Francisco's muralists say they have seen an increase in vandalism of their work on outdoor walls by graffiti.

Defaced murals can be found all over the city but the situation is particularly severe in the city's liveliest mural zone, the Mission District. Art in parts of the district's Clarion Alley, a 20-year old street museum of murals, has been damaged, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

It noted a North Beach mural, "Gold Mountain," depicting Chinese history, which had to be painted over when the building owner couldn't keep it free of graffiti.

"There's been a very specific mural destruction going on," said Russell Howze, muralist and Mission District tour guide. "More than anything these murals are well-loved, and huge amounts of time have gone into them."

The city's Department of Public Works received nearly 22,000 requests for graffiti removal in 2012. It spends about $3.5 million per year on graffiti abatement, department spokeswoman Rachel Gordon said.

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