Iconic mural destroyed in downtown Phoenix

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Lauren Saria speaks out about the vandalism to the mural at Taco Chelo. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Lauren Saria speaks out about the vandalism to the mural at Taco Chelo. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The mural is located on the west-side of the Flowers building. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The mural is located on the west-side of the Flowers building. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Gold paint was sprayed over the mural. (Source: 3TV/ CBS 5) Gold paint was sprayed over the mural. (Source: 3TV/ CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

People are searching for a vandal who ruined an iconic mural in downtown Phoenix.

Taco Chelo, a taqueria set to open in February of 2018, posted on Facebook Feb. 21 telling the public that they had found a painting on the side of their building defaced.

“We were super devastated to realize that someone had defaced the mural that has been on the west-side wall of the Flowers building where we’re located,” said Lauren Saria, Marketing Manager of Taco Chelo. “We’re just so disappointed. This piece of art is really important to the downtown community, to the Roosevelt Row community.”

[MAP: Roosevelt Row Arts District

Taco Chelo’s surveillance cameras caught the vandal destroying the mural with gold spray paint and the restaurant owners have turned the footage over to the police. Saria said that they want to hold the person accountable for ruining something that is so meaningful and important to Roosevelt Row.

The mural was painted in 2009 by artists El Mac and Augustine Kofie. According to Saria, multiple members of the community reached out to Taco Chelo about their concerns regarding disruption to the mural during the restaurants building process.

“We took as many steps as we could to make sure we could do everything we could to preserve it. So, to have someone come in at the 11th hour and do this and kind of do that type of damage to something that matters to us but also matters to the community is just really disrespectful,” Saria said. “That one person would come in and kind of disregard all of that and do something so selfish is just kind of what for us is just incomprehensible."

[RELATED: Downtown Phoenix gets new murals]

They are currently working on finding a way to correct the destruction.

“We’re hoping that potentially the mural could be restored or the paint can be removed but at this time we’re not sure what exactly we’ll be able to do to kind of undo the damage,” Saria said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Phoenix Police. 

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