Beatty Street murals painted over by City of Vancouver

On Beatty Street, between Dunsmuir and Georgia, there were a series of murals painted on a long concrete wall. They’re now gone.

This morning (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.”

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.

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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.”

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Paintings since removed by the City of Vancouver. On Beatty Street between Dunsmuir and Georgia streets.


You can follow Travis Lupick on Twitter at twitter.com/tlupick.

Comments (27) Add New Comment
Sharkfin
Thats bullshit, not to mention futile. Lets grab our cans and hit the streets.
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ryan s
how can someone actually paint over that ART? the person who did the work needs to re-think his moral objective in life, could you honestly live with yourself knowing you painted over something that was so beautiful and lit up a rather dull street full of construction and parking. very heart breaking
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Gene
Typical for Vancouver. It will never be the world class city it purports to be so often. The problem always is finding who made this decision and you never can. The invisibility of bureaucrats and decision makers is part of the problem
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Breklor
I can see painting over art to make room for art, or painting over taggings, or painting over something that is truly objectionable. That mural was beautiful and they've replaced it with a vast expanse of Microsoft BSOD blue! Fuckers
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chris in bby
I grew up in vancouver and used to be proud of it. Now i can't wait to move to another city. Between Translink taxing us to death, somehow the City of Vancouver controlling the rest of the lower mainland, and this Nazi convention called the Olympics, Vancouver has turned into an expensive and anti-civil liberty city. I really hope that Vancouverites would step up en-mass and protest the Olympics over the amount of debt this mess is going to leave on the province.....but alas, as Canadians, we just go about our day.
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Quentin
Vancouver sucks. Sucks the life out of it's inhabitants with rents equal to New York but without ANY of the benefits. Kills off its local artists with indifference and disdain. A soulless Dubai of the North........ I for one (and one for many) can't wait to get the hell out.
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michael geller
One of the things that distinguishes Vancouver from most world cities is the general absence of unwanted graffiti. We should be congratulated for this.

I personally liked this particular stretch of 'public art' and would be curious to know who really made the decision to paint it over. But I do hope that this unfortunate decision, and Council's unwise decision to end the 'graffiti program' will not lead to more unwanted tagging and painting on public and private properties around the city.
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Shakin' my head
I walked past those murals every day for 2 years and they always brightened up my day. The mural were art and they were never tagged or vandalized. Now that the wall is plain blue, its an open invitation for taggers to leave their mark. This was a poor decision.
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Same Old
Wow! Gregor the Savior's administration doesn't seem much different than all our other mayors'! Who would've thought?
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Morty.
Beatty Street's going to be a pedestrian corridor during the Olympics. I guess VANOC didn't want anyone getting confused by seeing something local and unique.
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Saphy
Its not considered 'ART' in Vancouver unless its huge and made of rusty metal!....so sad.
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JC
I'm going to miss those creatively bright and beautiful murals so much...
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Vancouver Born
City Hall is full of thugs and dead beats. Shame on you Vancouver.

And Michael Geller... stop kissing ass. We're sick and tired of your constant sucking up to city hall. You lost last fall.

Get over it Geller.
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sez
For a city that is starving for culture it's ironic this small but significant contribution has been deleted. It's not unlike a situation where mom and dad say they love your painting and hang it in the dining room only to replace it with a boring landscape when company is coming over. Tisk tisk
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Sean Bickerton
So the Olympic Art Grinches have struck again! Whoever is responsible for desecrating the public work of art on that wall should be charged with vandalism of public property. It was a beautiful, colourful mural a block from my home adorning a block-long stretch of unsightly concrete painted by a collaborative group of local artists for a charity. We loved that mural and I used to take visitors to see it.

Creative City? Fun City? To the contrary. Our new Art Commissars seem intent on painting the city a grim grey. It's such barbaric behaviour it's hard to believe it's happening right here and not in some totalitarian country. Especially when the Olympics were meant to celebrate everything unique and creative about our vibrant arts community, not hiding them out of sight.
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Dude
What a lame thing to do.
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Ron Hyena
Oh look, an empty wall in a high traffic area for Olympic events. Thanks Vancouver, that's just what everyone needed. See you at the games!
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in the loop
It's still our city. Send your comments to Mayor and Council. We have to remember that we run the city.. . collectively. Indeed, it's hard to police the elected.. but it's the only thing that will pull this deluded oligarchy back down to street level and work with public accountability in mind.

Mayor and council contacts:
gregor@votevision.ca
clrdeal@vancouver.ca
clrcadman@vancouver.ca
clranton@vancouver.ca
clrchow@vancouver.ca
clrlouie@vancouver.ca
clrmeggs@vancouver.ca
clrwoodsworth@vancouver.ca
clrjang@vancouver.ca
clrstevenson@vancouver.ca
clrreimer@vancouver.ca
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ElectroPigâ„¢ Von Fí¶kkenGrí¼í¼ven
While I do not agree with any form of adult prohibition, I've always been able to understand that the ignorant, the wilfully ignorant, and the thoughtless both allowed prohibition to begin and continued it long past the point where society as a whole has learned that it was a HUGE mistake. What I do not understand is why works of art have now been deemed "socially unacceptable" and ordered removed.

Who was the mural hurting? Seeing the images was damaging to what social group? Who was so offended by this work of art that they managed to convince others to destroy it? Most importantly, who allowed themselves to be cowed into submission by the mental midgets who thought that destroying a unique piece of art would be to the benefit of anyone?

In almost all cities and towns around Canada, our politicians are overstepping their bounds, making the wrong decisions on almost every front, and operating to the general detriment of the people they are alleged to represent. It's time to drop-kick the socialist regimes across Canada and get back to our roots.
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Bettie Boop
Thats was NOT right to paint over those beautiful murals. They were showing off our talented local artists! Honestly that was a shame that the city did that! I've seen worse graffiti in other cities and those murals were not offensive by no means! They were enjoyed and loved by many.
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