Vandals defaced an outdoor mural in Pointe-Claire Village over the weekend, breaking an unspoken rule among graffiti artists and leaving local residents sad about the future of the village.
Pointe-Claire merchants and local residents woke up Saturday morning to discover one of the panels of the mural depicting 300 years of Pointe Claire history, had been defaced with graffiti.
Unintelligible markings in silver paint were scrolled on a panel depicting Pointe-Claire Village in the 20th century, a snapshot of daily life outside the grocery store on the mainstreet.
“How low will people go?” said Roger Simard, the owner of L’Épicerie du Village, the now-closed Lakeshore Rd. grocery store where the mural is located.
Simard, who was the driving force behind the creation of the mural, said it was a heartbreaking thing to see.
When the mural was completed last spring, people came from across Montreal Island to admire the work. The mural depicts in vibrant colours 300 years of Pointe-Claire Village history, going back to 1713, when the village was founded as a parish.
“I hope they catch the culprits,” said Margaret Paterson, a local resident who said she saw the graffiti on Saturday. “We were absolutely disgusted.”
“Thoughtless vandalism,” said another passersby.
When the mural was unveiled, some residents expressed fear that it could be vandalized. Anyone can walk up and touch the mural and there are no video cameras trained on the mural.
However, members of the Pointe-Claire Village association told The Gazette at that time that they didn’t think it wise to talk publicly about the possibility the mural could be defaced. One noted there is an unspoken rule among graffiti artists — one that has clearly been broken — that you never paint over another artist’s work.
The incident comes at a time when the village has been wracked by bad news. The village grocery store went bankrupt earlier this month and, Canada Post has announced it will close the village post office, Oct. 5.
Last week, police from Station 5 arrested a 17-year-old male youth after he was spotted spray-painting graffiti on a stop sign. The incident took place on Dorval Ave. in Dorval on September 19, at about 3:10 a.m. When police intervened, they found four cans of spray paint in the youth’s back pack.
Montreal police community relations officer Liliana Belluci from Station 5 said the two cases do not appear to be related.