Vandals defaced a pair of adjoining Black Lives Matter murals in Brooklyn’s Gowanus by spraypainting the common refrain “All Lives Matter” over the block-long works of art.
The message All Lives Matter is aimed at undercutting the urgency of concerns regarding the frequency of lethal police force used against African Americans — concerns crystalized in the May murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis that has led to months of protest nationwide.
The canvases, located on a construction fence near Union Street and Fourth Avenue, depict a young sign-holding Black girl, along with a block-text signage of the “Black Lives Matter” slogan — but the scofflaws used red paint to scribble the word “All” in several places over the word “Black.”
Incident follows string of conservative attacks on public displays of concern about lethal violence used against African Americans
The construction site is owned by developer Avery Hall, who lamented the vandalism and promised to reach out to the local artists who painted the murals to discuss restoring the art.
“We are very proud of the work that local artists have done at our site to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and do not condone this act,” said Avery Hall rep Brian Ezra.
It isn’t the first time the murals have been disrupted, as an Avery Hall contractor mistakenly painted over the original murals — which Ezra described as a “gargantuan misunderstanding.”
Other large murals depicting Black Lives Matter signage across the city have also been frequent targets of defacing — such as the city-sponsored mural in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan, which has been vandalized at least five times. In one instance, a lawbreaker covered the yellow text in red paint, and on another occasion, two conservative provocateurs injured a policeman while being arrested for sprawling black over the painting.
The Gowanus mural’s artist could not be reached for comment.
This story originally ran in our sister publication, Brooklynpaper.com. To sign up for the Gay City News email newsletter, visit gaycitynews.com/newsletter.