Vandals target mural days after it goes on show

The vandalism on the Gifford Park mural. Picture: Colin Christison
The vandalism on the Gifford Park mural. Picture: Colin Christison
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A COMMUNITY mural painted on the walls of a Southside street has been vandalised barely a week after it was 

The detailed artwork featured on each gable end wall at Gifford Park, where it joins Clerk Street, was finally completed last Sunday after months of preparation and planning.

But artist Kate George and her team of volunteers who worked tirelessly on the community masterpiece have been left disappointed after it emerged yesterday the painting, commissioned by the Southside Association, has been “tagged”.

Kate, a Leith-based graphic artist, said: “Taggers often consider themselves artists in their own way so I wouldn’t like to say they had vandalised the painting.

“Some people see tagging as an expression, it’s just disappointing they picked our artwork to place their work on.”

Gifford Park forms part of the cycle route section – from the Meadows to the Innocent Railway Tunnel – which is still under construction.

The Southside Association said the work, understood to have cost around £5000, was “tagged” by “a boy and girl, not that young” who were interrupted and chased away by a local businessman.

Colin Christison, of the Southside Association, said: “Kate George and her team of volunteers worked tirelessly for over a week, dodging rainfall, and they were greatly encouraged by the positive comments and contributions from local residents and businesses, as well as from visitors to the area.

“It is very galling to discover that the mural has been ‘tagged’ already.”

He added: “Kate has murals elsewhere which have not been ‘tagged’ or sprayed with graffiti, and it was hoped that the Gifford Park mural would escape such attention, particularly as there was so much community involvement.

“She hopes that she will be able to repair the damage, and then apply a coat of anti-graffiti varnish over both the walls.”

Kate added: “I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to work on the wall.

“There was graffiti on the wall before we painted over it so perhaps those who have tagged it feel like we have put our work on top of theirs. It’s not about marking walls, it’s about changing the environment.”