Roti, a 23-year-old French street artist recently created a new mural as part of Atlanta’s Living Walls Conference. Today, it was illegally defaced by Atlanta residents.

A community member had claimed that the half-man half-crocodile mural was put up without local consent, while others petitioned to save it. Then, shit got a little uncivil.

Former state representative Doug Dean, who lives in the nearby Pittsburgh neighborhood, was part of the crowd attacking the mural and admitted that the group had no clearance for painting over the work. In a comment issued to Creative Loafing, Dean claimed that “he and the others painted over the wall because the community was not consulted about the mural.” Dean’s statement is false, as Living Walls received permission from Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow, who represents the area.

“It is so wrong for them to get peititons from people who live in Capitol View and Sylvan Hills and not come to Pittsburgh and talk to us,” Dean stated further. “All we want is a process for how to deal with artists who come to our neighborhood and doing what they want to do. We have some art we want to do in our community.”

The collective act of destruction was spurred by a Facebook event primarily curated by user Npu-v Atlanta. The supporters appear to have a personal vendetta against Living Walls suggesting that it takes space away from local artists. Naturally, what’s an angry mob to do but destroy art in the name of art… Bullshit.

However, don’t loose your faith in humanity just yet. In light of the acts from the “concerned” community, supporters of the mural from all over Atlanta have already gathered in an attempt to clean the mural without damaging it. The original event’s Facebook page appears to have drawn more supporters of the mural, opening the organizers to massive public criticism. Check out the photos of clean up effort below.

Vandalized Mural

Efforts to clean up the mural

Efforts to clean up the mural without damaging it

(Photos: Creative Loafing)