A mural designed to represent the LGBT community in San Francisco’s Mission District has been vandalized twice in less than a week.
The “Por Vida” (“For Life”) mural was created by Manuel Paul, a member of the group of Chicano artists called the “Maricón Collective.” He installed the mural on 24th Street, outside Galeria de la Raza, which will be hosting an upcoming exhibition scheduled to coincide with events celebrating Gay Pride Month.
On Sunday morning, visitors to the gallery were greeted by a disfigured version of the mural, which depicts a gay male couple, a lesbian couple and a trans man. The mural had been defaced with black spray paint. The phrase "Por Vida" was crossed out.
The incident comes after last a similar incident on Tuesday, June 16, when the mural was vandalized with blue and red spray paint. The June 16 incident was followed by threats to the artist through social networks, according to the Advocate website.
In a statement, Galeria de la Raza said the multiple acts of vandalism “has only proven the credibility of [the mural’s] purpose.”
“While ignorance and hate may have been expressed by the few, we thank the extraordinarily generous support we have received from the vast majority of the community,” the statement said.
The gallery, in the heart of Mission, expects to receive the support of the neighborhood and donations that will help – again – to repair the damage inflicted upon the mural.
Galeria de la Raza launched in 1970 with the intent of documenting the Chicano and Latino experience in San Francisco.
Police say they have surveillance video of the vandalism as it happened, but they’re not releasing it, which suggests they might have a pretty good image of the potential suspect or suspects.
Telemundo 48's Gisela Crespo contributed to this report.