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Iconic Golden Arch Mural Destroyed

Friday, November 16, 2012

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Some vegan graffiti vandals recently tagged a beloved piece of public art in Huntington Beach, CA.

McDonald's mural gets tagged
John Patterson

McDonald's workers discovered the defaced mural in late October.

The vandals etched “V-E-G-A-N” in black spray paint over a 20-year-old mural that celebrated the global fast food restaurant McDonald’s, in late October, according to local reports.

Attempts to save the defaced mural, originally painted by the late Saeed Danosian, a former McDonald’s employee and artist, were unsuccessful, according to an op-ed column by Chris Epting in The Huntington Beach Independent.  

Thus, the wall of a liquor store bearing the classic McDonald’s characters, including Ronald, Grimace and Hamburglar were recently painted over with a beige layer of paint, reports relate.

20 Years Unscathed

“We were heartbroken when we came in the next morning and saw this,” restaurant operation supervisor John Patterson told Epting. “In 20 years, we had never had any graffiti vandals touch the mural.”

Patterson said he worked with Danosian at the McDonald’s near the mural when he was working on the project.

Mural before

Saeed Danosian painted the mural while he worked for the fast food chain.

“He [Danosian] was running shifts while he painted it,” Patterson said. “Then he came and touched it up later on. He was a very special and talented man.”

Patterson said he hopes to create a community project to recreate the original piece.

Spirited Comments

Many have joined Epting in mourning the loss of the public artwork and cast shame on the vandals responsible via the web.

“I'm a vegan and I do not endorse this. Horrible what they did,” a user posted on a local Reddit forum.

Another user wrote: “I dislike McDonalds and am myself a vegetarian, but that's some serious bullshit. You don't vandalize historic art. I hope the people who did this get caught and are forced to pay the cost of restoration and have the book thrown at them.”

Others think that maybe the graffiti wasn’t done by vegans, but rather just someone trying to make a controversial “statement.”

What do you think?


Tagged categories: Artists; Criminal acts; Graffiti; Murals; Vandalism

Comment from Stephen Bolling, (11/16/2012, 2:14 AM)

It sounds like the contractor didn't want to make a serious effort to save it because of time or cost factors. Graffiti is removed from murals all the time, and a lot worse than this, its not a difficult process especially when its new paint covering over 20 year old paint. Most of the mural was not destroyed so even if some of the paint had faded under the graffiti it could have easily been restored. In fact, even with the tan paint it can still be recovered. As an example, Fine Art Conservation Laboratories is currently restoring the 1984 Olympic Freeway Murals in Los Angeles and can be found on line. It appears to be a case of they didn't want to spend the money, they didn't want to take the time, they didn't want to mess up the new McDonald's designs that will stay in effect for the next ten years or so.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (12/6/2012, 10:20 AM)

I to am quite puzzled that the owners chose to obliterate the rest of the mural - quite a bit of it was still visible. Even if they felt compelled to block out the VEGAN graffiti, they did not need to kill the rest of the mural.

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