CHICAGO — A new mural in Chinatown has been tagged for the second time in one week, just two days after its artists repaired it.
The blue-and-white floral mural in Ping Tom Memorial Park was finished on July 6. But by Sunday it had been tagged, with someone using silver paint to write “XXXTENTACION” — the performance name of a chart-topping rapper from Florida slain in June — in letters that went roughly 12 feet across and 2 feet tall.
The community worked together to raise money to pay for the paint and labor needed to repair the mural, as well as the money needed to apply a sealant that can protect the artwork from further vandalism. The artists behind the mural repaired it on Tuesday and Wednesday and made plans to have a professional apply the sealant.
But by Friday, the mural had been tagged again.
This time, the vandal wrote “XXXTENTACION R.I.P.” with silver paint.
The protective sealant hadn’t yet been applied, meaning the mural will have to be repaired again. And the artists used up the paint they had with the first repair, so they’ll need to get more, said Anita Luk, who’s worked with the artists.
The mural is expected to be unveiled at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28.
The quick fundraising after the first act of vandalism made artist Andy Bellomo proud of the Chinatown community, where she’s worked for years, but it also reminded her how passionate people are about public art.
“It’s not just some pretty thing to look at,” Bellomo said. “It really brings communities together. It opens up conversations about race, ethnicity, conversations about gender.”