Says Chicago 11th ward alderman James Balcer, who got the city's "graffiti blasters" to blot out a mural that an artist — Gabriel Villa — had spent 2 weeks painting on a privately owned wall. (The link goes to Chicago Public Radio, which put that apostrophe in "camera's" — twice.)
Villa did the work as part of a local art festival. The mural itself was on private property, on a wall owned by the mother of a festival organizer. Villa says several Chicago Police officers approached him about the work while he painted. He thinks they may have been offended but he says the painting doesn't have an anti-police message.Here's a photo of the ex-painting. Judge for yourself. Anti-police?
VILLA: This mural was not a quiz. A lot of contemporary art tries, you know it tries to baffle you, or tries to confuse you, or kind of flip things on its head. I wasn't asking anything.
Villa says he thinks police officers disliked the mural and they called the alderman who ordered the mural to be painted over.
BALCER: Yeah, I'm the alderman here. I was told about it and I okay'd it and I stand by it.