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Kurt Vile Fishtown mural defaced for 'attracting graffiti'

A man was caught this morning painting over the iconic Steve Power Fishtown memorial.

The Kurt Vile memorial was defaced today, according to social media accounts. Credit: Najeeb Sheikh The Kurt Vile memorial was defaced today, according to social media accounts. Credit: Najeeb Sheikh

An unknown man was caught this morning painting over the iconic Steve Power Fishtown mural.

Najeeb Sheikh, a local artist, took a cell phone photo of the man in action and posted it to his Instagram account. Sheikh, who posts under the name @dasheikee, wrote that he was "Driving down front street at 9am this morning and this made me sick to my stomach. Random dude decided to buff the @steveespopowers mural because he doesn't approve of it."

"When I askedif he knew it was a commissioned piece by a world renown artist he said he did and he didn't give a s---," Sheikh wrote. "He claimed it attracted graffiti to the neighborhood!"

The mural, at Front and Master Streets, was painted by world-renown artist Steve Powers in February 2013.

It served as the album art for Kurt Vile's 2013 LP "Walkin on a Pretty Daze."

"It's tragic," said Jane Golden, executive director of the city's Mural Arts Program.

While the Vile mural isn't included in her program, Golden said it is nonetheless a disgrace.

"I think the big point here is that it's really sad to lose a work of art," shesaid.

Conrad Benner, a Fishtown native and well-known street art Instagramer (@streetsdept), called the entire incident "A shame."

"This piece was commissioned for that wall to celebrate another local artist," he said."And his horrible – and illegal – buff of the wall is sure to bring much, much, much more throw ups and graffiti."

"Lastly," he added, "I'd just like to explain to this dude that he happens to live in a neighborhood with a lot people who love graffiti."

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

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