Photo by Kyle Lawrence via Wikimedia Commons
A Snapshots of History mural depicting Chinese Canadians in Vancouver’s Chinatown was vandalized last week, sparking outrage over the racist attack, Vancouver Is Awesome reports.
The vandal, who has not been identified, spray-painted red spots that resemble bloody wounds on the Chinese subjects featured in the murals. The mural consists of three panels, according to Vancouver Is Awesome: a family, a silk merchant and men sitting outside of a barbershop.
Shu Ren “Arthur” Cheng, who created the mural in 2010, said his heart was hurting upon learning of the vandalism.
“This brings a tear to my eye,” Cheng told Vancouver Is Awesome. “My mural is broken.”
The city’s graffiti removal contractor restored the artwork on Friday after social media users decried the vandalism.
Winston Sayson, a Chinese-Filipino former Crown prosecutor, discovered and photographed the mural defacement on Wednesday. He told Vancouver Is Awesome that he believes the act constitutes a hate crime.
“The inference can be made — and should be made — that this was indeed calculated to instill fear and to demonstrate hatred of the Chinese people,” Sayson said.
Two Vancouver city council people, Pete Fry and Sarah Kirby-Yung, also spoke out against the graffiti. Kirby-Yung condemned it as hateful and said it was part of a larger wave of anti-Asian racism.
Fry said the graffiti deeply upset him and was appreciative of its quick removal.
“The literal targeting of Chinese people with red paint bullet holes signals violent intent,” Fry told Vancouver Is Awesome.
Anti-Asian hate has risen throughout North America during the pandemic. This isn’t Vancouver’s first anti-Asian graffiti incident. In April, anti-Asian graffiti was spraypainted on walls and bus shelter in North Vancouver, North Shore News reports.
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