Since late May the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Mural in Venice has stood a sad sight on Pacific Avenue after it was vandalized in the lead up to Memorial Day this year.
As Veteran’s Day fast approaches, the Venice Chamber of Commerce is working hard to raise the $45,000 needed to restore the mural that is slowly crumbling away.
The Chamber has set up a gofundme campaign and is reaching out to the Venice community to help. Donations of $100 or more include an invitation to Friday night’s special Veterans Day Sunset Dinner on the roof deck of Venice Beach Suites and Hotel.
The Social Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) will take on the restoration project. Located in the old Venice Police Station at 685 Venice Blvd SPARC has been creating and restoring public murals for more than 35 years.
The giant memorial mural, painted in the early 1990s, lies just a few blocks from Venice Beach, on the wall of a former bus yard owned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
When the tagger hit, news of the crime went viral. People throughout the world were shocked at such an affront to the memory of all Veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. A memorial to all those lost in war, either missing in action or as prisoners of war, giant white, graffiti letters covered many of the names.
Councilmember Bonin said at the time that the vandalism was a “disgraceful desecration of a historic Venice mural dedicated to 2,273 POWs and troops declared Missing in Action during the Vietnam War.”
Hundreds from all over greater Los Angeles gathered to remove the Graffiti. However, the well-meaning cleaning team, led by a man who claimed to own a construction company, ended up doing more harm than good. Judy Baca, Venice-based mural expert, UCLA Professor, and Founder & Artistic Director of SPARC said the products used to clean off the graffiti have made the restoration project more difficult. Nevertheless, the recovery project will go ahead, but community contribution will be vital.
Do you bit and donate to via the gofundme campaign here.