SALT LAKE CITY — A Black Lives Matter street mural painted in northern Utah was defaced and partially covered with gray paint, days after it was painted by local artists, authorities said.
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman said in a statement Wednesday that “bias and racism exist in our community.”
“If we wish to overcome these, we must show courage to look inward, educate ourselves, and hold those around us accountable for their actions, and inaction,” he said. “We will use this event to further our community dialogue about social inequities.”
The word “Black” and the Black Power fist, which was used as the dot in the letter I, was covered with gray paint sometime Tuesday night, leaving the words “Lives Matter” still visible.
The mural was one of four painted on the pavement of Park City’s historic Main Street on the Fourth of July.
“I think it’s very disrespectful to go and ruin somebody’s time and effort and energy that they put into their artwork that meant something to them,” resident Aaron Summerill said.
It is unclear who was involved in painting over the mural.
Samoan-born artist Alijay Fuimano painted the mural as part of a collaborative project with the Summit County Arts Council with grant funding from the city. He said on Instagram that he is on standby to repaint it.
The other murals featured the words “Solidarity,” “Unity” and “Justicia Para Todos,” Spanish for justice for all.
Salt Lake City is soliciting artists for a similar painting leading up to its city hall.