Northside mural by famous artist vandalized

NORTHSIDE, OH (FOX19) - A cherished community mural could be in jeopardy after it was recently vandalized.

The mural in Northside is one of the last remaining pieces in Cincinnati by famous artist Shepard Fairey. Fairey painted several murals throughout the city as a part of an exhibit at the Contemporary Art Center four years ago.

Depicted in the mural is Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient who spent 15 years under house arrest in Burma. Kyi has been smiling down at the Northside intersection of Hamilton and Blue Rock road since 2010.

Now, the words 'Casper' and 'Joist' are painted over her face and the mural will most likely be removed, according to Linda Holterhoff.

Linda is the executive director of Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, a non profit that promotes neighborhood beautification and improvement.

This isn't the first time the tagged words 'Casper' and 'Joist' have shown up in Cincinnati, according to Linda. She says they're connected to two individuals, a father and son team, who have previously been arrested for vandalism.  She believes the duo is responsible for defacing the Fairey mural.

District Five Police say they are investigating the incident. There is still no final decision about what will happen to the mural.

Shepard Fairey originally gained notoriety with his Andre the Giant/OBEY stickers. His popularity heightened during the 2008 presidential election for his Barack Obama "Hope" poster. Limited edition prints by Fairey can go for thousands of dollars.

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