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City of Vancouver Paints Over Mural.

Beatty Street murals painted over by City of Vancouver

By Travis Lupick • Visit the Straight for full article and comments.

On Beatty Street, between Dunsmuir and Georgia, there were a series of murals painted on a long concrete wall. They’re now gone. On (December 23), they were painted over by the City of Vancouver. All that remains is a long stretch of blue.

According to David McLellan, general manager of community services for the City of Vancouver, the murals were painted over as part of “maintenance in that area”.

McLellan explained that the Beatty Street murals were created in 2007 as part of a fundraiser for the Steve Nash Foundation. He said that they were always regarded by the city as a temporary installation.

“It is standard business for the city to do the upkeep on its publicly visible property,” McLellan continued. “That is one of the city’s properties.”

Hey! That's a nice blue. Perfect background colour for a Vision Vancouver Logo.

On November 16, the City of Vancouver removed a mural outside the Crying Room gallery in the Downtown Eastside. The work depicted the Olympic Games in a negative light.

The Beatty Street murals were painted on a concrete wall that bordered a large parking lot at the corner of Georgia Street and Beatty Street. The area is designated as an Olympic venue scheduled to be used for entertainment during the Games.

McLellan maintained that the painting over of the Beatty Street murals is not part of any greater initiative to eliminate similar works in Vancouver. But he stated that the city does regularly remove works created on public property without a permit.

On December 23, workers hired by the City of Vancouver painted over murals on Beatty Street. Travis Lupick photo.

Alternatively, he continued, the City of Vancouver does issue permits for paintings in areas visible to the public. One example is the series of murals that exist underneath the south end of the Granville Street Bridge.

“Those are actually permitted,” McLellan said. “I don’t think there is any plan to paint over those.”