Beatty Street murals painted over by City of Vancouver

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      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.


      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.”


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

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      Dec 23, 2009 at 11:14am

      Thats bullshit, not to mention futile. Lets grab our cans and hit the streets.

      ryan s

      Dec 23, 2009 at 11:14am

      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


      Dec 23, 2009 at 12:14pm

      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


      Dec 23, 2009 at 12:17pm

      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

      chris in bby

      Dec 23, 2009 at 5:30pm

      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.


      Dec 24, 2009 at 1:02am

      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.

      michael geller

      Dec 24, 2009 at 7:53am

      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.

      Shakin' my head

      Dec 24, 2009 at 8:56am

      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.

      Same Old

      Dec 24, 2009 at 1:23pm

      Wow! Gregor the Savior's administration doesn't seem much different than all our other mayors'! Who would've thought?


      Dec 24, 2009 at 2:39pm

      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.