BUSINESS owners and the City of Ballarat have joined forces in condemning vandals who damaged sections of a new community art project at the rear of the Bridge Mall.
Cr Des Hudson said the We R You, Our Faces, Our Community public art program, designed to promote public art but denounce senseless tagging, was important to maintain.
“For people out there damaging this public art, what they’re actually doing is damaging the community,” Cr Hudson said.
“Would they do the same thing to the walls of their bedroom?”
Cr Hudson said the paper-format of the posters made it easy to replace damaged sections.
Hairdresser Paul Tabbitt said he couldn’t believe how quickly the posters had been damaged.
“It was only two-and-a-half hours after they went up,” he said. “We were watching it happen – a boy about 17 years old was walking along and just started tearing it apart.
“Why don’t they just leave it alone?
“I think the idea is fantastic, but the reality is (the posters) will just get defaced.”
Police were called about the incident.
Mr Tabbitt said the wall, at the rear of Bridge Mall trader Sportz Biz, was constantly tagged by vandals.
He said perhaps Ballarat should look at successful models in other cities.
“In Sydney, they put little stickers on the walls, saying that (taggers) are on camera and when they are caught, they’ll have to pay for the damage,” Mr Tabbitt said.
“It gets the word out that if you tag, you will pay for it.”
Photographer Aldona Kmiec said she was disappointed by the damage to the posters she worked so hard on.
“Everyone who took part is disappointed and the wider community is disappointed too,” she said.
“They will be repaired. The whole idea of the project is to give people an idea of public art and to keep the discussion going about the dynamic change in Ballarat’s art environment.”