Murals dedicated to Selena Quintanilla-Perez and Frida Kahlo are at the center of recurring vandalism in Brownsville, Texas. Twenty artists collaborated on both pieces in a series featuring nearly two dozen paintings for the Capitol Theater Street Art Competition held during the 2016 Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival.
The labor of love, six months in the making, quickly became a source of pride for the predominantly Latino community, but vandals are determined to change that. The images of the Mexican icons are now covered with deep scratches and were even smeared with mustard back in February, NBC DFW reports.
The suspects have also written “NY NY” across the pieces in black ink, but the collective has corrected the damage and plans to do so for as long as the crime transpires. “My friends and I are devastated that our murals were vandalized once again,” artist Cristina Garza told The Bronsville Herald. “However, we will persevere in painting and repairing the murals despite how many times they’re vandalized. Overall, we were blessed with the opportunity to make our community more beautiful with our creativity.”
According to the city newspaper, Brownsville police have committed to strengthening patrol around the defaced area.