By Nancy Price and Neal Smith
An individual responsible for recent damage to two murals in Fountain Square has been identified by an anonymous tipster, according to Fountain Square Merchants Association spokesman Tad Aschliman.
“It wasn’t a punk teen, misguided activist or anyone like that,” Aschliman posted June 22 on the Fountain Square Community Facebook page. “It was an adult who appears to be struggling with several life issues, many of which were not his doing, none of which could be helped with jail time in my opinion. Frankly, after understanding the individual’s background and motive a little more, I feel bad for the name calling and jumping to the conclusion that it was someone who clearly knew better.”
The murals, painted by local artists Dan Thompson and Alicia Zanoni last fall, were spray painted with graffiti on June 21 and cost Fountain Square merchants and various associations several thousand dollars.
There was a $1,000 reward for the anonymous tipster, but he did not accept it, according to Aschliman. “Instead, he just asked that the money go toward rehiring the two artists come back and fix their work, if possible,” he said. “That’s what we’re working on now.”
As of press time, Aschliman said an additional $1,000 had been donated to the Fountain Square Community Facebook page.
Aschliman says they may do a fundraiser to get an acrylic paint-on substance that enables graffiti’d artwork like the murals to be cleaned should someone tag them again in the future.