Somebody is vandalizing Denver’s murals. “Something’s happening. It’s a new thing.”

“Usually, they want a blank canvas,” Chavez said of taggers. “Something’s happening. It’s a new thing.”

Graffiti on the "Paramount" murals by Alexandre Orion on the Cherry Creek Trail at Broadway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)
Graffiti on the "Paramount" murals by Alexandre Orion on the Cherry Creek Trail at Broadway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)
Graffiti on the “Paramount” murals by Alexandre Orion on the Cherry Creek Trail at Broadway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)

UPDATE March 23: The murals have been refurbished. Aztec Dance Denver will conduct a prayer blessing for the two refurbished “Paramount” murals on the Cherry Creek Trail at Speer Boulevard, between Broadway and Lincoln Street at 1 p.m. today.

EARLIER: If you’ve been on the Cherry Creek Trail around Broadway in the last few days, you’ve noticed that the “Paramount” murals, painted there in 2016 by Alexandre Orion, have been defaced.

Vandalism on the "Paramount" murals by Alexandre Orion on the Cherry Creek Trail at Broadway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)
Vandalism on the “Paramount” murals by Alexandre Orion on the Cherry Creek Trail at Broadway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)

Denver Arts and Venues has noticed, too.

A posted notice indicates that Denver Arts and Venues is aware of graffiti on murals on the Cherry Creek Greenway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)
A posted notice indicates that Denver Arts and Venues is aware of graffiti on murals on the Cherry Creek Greenway. (Dave Burdick/Denverite)

“It’s not typical at all,” said Michael Chavez, public art program manager at Denver Arts and Venues. He said Denver’s mural program, which started in 2009, has seen more than 160 murals go up in the city, and that vandalism is rare — but that after the damage to “Paramount,” the city was also made aware of another mural on the bike path, at about 12th Ave., being defaced.

He said that the mural locations are chosen specifically to reduce or at least move graffiti — and, again, that it has generally worked.

“Usually, they want a blank canvas,” Chavez said of taggers. “Something’s happening. It’s a new thing.”

While they hope for Denver police to find the vandals — we’ve asked DPD how likely that is and will update this post when we hear back — they’ve got to address the graffiti.

“The first thing we would do is we’d go to the artists and see if it’s even repairable,” Chavez said. “In both of these cases, we believe that they are. It’s time and a little bit more money.”

He said he thinks the mural at 12th could be repaired as soon as the end of this week. “Paramount,” which is more intricate — and whose original artist lives in Brazil — could take longer.

Dave Burdick

Author: Dave Burdick

Dave Burdick is the editor of Denverite. He has previously worked at The Denver Post, The Daily Camera, The Huffington Post, Naropa University up in Boulder and the Best Buy down by Park Meadows circa "Now That's What I Call Music" volume 4. His parents are retired local newspaper journalists, and he is married to a freelance journalist. He lives in Denver with her, their two children and a dog.