Iconic Cleveland mural vandalized, community rallies for restoration

Clark Ave. mural vandalized with graffiti tagging

CLEVELAND - Cleveland police are searching for the vandals who severely damaged an iconic mural off Clark Avenue, near the West 25th Street intersection.

A large part of the mural is now covered in graffiti, and, according to leaders at the Metro West Community Development Office, much of the mural is beyond repair and will have to repainted.

Metro West Managing Director Keisha Gonzalez told News 5 a fundraising campaign is being established and will be linked to the development office website.

"So what we're really hoping is that we can re-activate that passion and that drive that the residents had in creating it," said Gonzalez. "Our community involvement team is working with the second district police in identifying patterns of where similar types of graffiti is being done throughout the area, identifying cameras that are within that vicinity."

Gonzalez said there are plans in the works to add lighting and perhaps additional security measures at the mural site.

The 2000-square-foot mural was created by mural master artist John Rivera-Resto, and was completed in 2014.

Resto said he's prepared to repaint the mural and agrees steps need to be taken to prevent further vandalism.

"I've been in business for 45 years and painted in many countries, no one has ever put graffiti on a mural," said Resto.

"They're exhibitionists, just a tagger in a big way.  That was planned, and yes they'll l do it again. But somebody knows somebody, who knows somebody, they can be found."

Anyone with information about this case should contact Cleveland police second district headquarters.

If you're interested in helping to restore the mural, contact Kristyn Zollos, Development Specialist at Metro West, 216-691-9073, ext. 204, or KZollos@MetroWestCLE.org

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