White Rock’s iconic Whaling Wall was marred this week by what could be described as an ill-placed cry for help.
A poem of sorts was found scribbled across the bottom quarter of the recently refreshed mural on Monday.
With more than 50 lines of script over seven columns, it referenced everything from drowning and despair to waiting for death.
Friday White Rock Leisure Services director Eric Stepura said city staff investigating the graffiti discovered that the writing was evidently not intended to be a permanent addition to the mural.
“It appears to have been done in a removable chalk-type material,” he said.
Claire Halpern, the city’s manager of cultural development, confirmed Friday afternoon that the writing “washed off with soap and water.”
“The cleanup was actually quite easy, compared to some graffiti,” Halpern said.
Halpern said it was upsetting to see the wall defaced, particularly given the recent restoration work.
The 60-by-30-foot mural was originally painted by artist Wyland in 1984.
White Rock artist Elizabeth Hollick restored it over 10 days this past October.
Halpern said Hollick will be checking the affected area to determine if any touchups are needed as a result of the graffiti.
– with files from Alex Browne