03 January 2015

Help wanted

The cosiest part of New Years Eve is when everyone gathers in the streets, by the lakes and on the bridge, to watch the fireworks. It's the part I miss the most, when I am not celebrating it on Nørrebro. The vibe is friendly and happy, it's the one time a year when we talk to strangers without the awkwardness. This time I tried catching it with my phone.

The downside to this tradition, is that the lake birds get freaked out by the fireworks (still haven't figured out where they go, and if all of them return), and the vandalism. Here's a scene from the bridge, a little after midnight, as I went to inspect the ninja wrapped statue of the Young People Sitting

They were close to invisible. I was almost thinking that maybe I was just being overprotective... until I inspected the aftermath. 

Worse than ever. I can't find the words to properly express how furious this makes me. Look at the trees!

I have tried googling graffiti removal on trees: baking soda, gentle scrubbing and heavy rinsing. But no one cleans graffiti off trees here. And, once it spreads, more people will start thinking it is okay. Knowing how this part of the tree is the most vital and also most vulnerable, I am wondering if I should try my hand at paint removal. Who are these people? UGH!

So, am I glad I decided to cover up the statues, you wonder? Yesyeyesyesyes! So happy.

This and a single sticker was the extent of the damage, and I can't even say for sure, if the tag was not there before I covered them up. Looking at the mayhem, I am convinced it would have looked a lot worse without the guerrilla guard.

I don't understand why someone are not preventing this from happening, surely a lot of people witnessed this vandalism? I have no problem with graffiti as such. I even think that it belongs in a healthy city, but it all comes down to the canvas. Respect the landmarks, nature and statues. Know your canvas, people. This is not it! 

Those of you reading from other parts of the world, I am curios if you have the same problem where you live? Good advice on how to turn this around, would be greatly appreciated.


  1. The secret to eliminating graffiti is to do it immediately and relentlessly.

    Where I live in London we have a great anti-graffiti unit created by the local council. They respond to calls to remove graffiti within 24 hours.

    We had an old church, bombed out during WWII, that was being constantly tagged. Every time I saw new graffiti, I called the team and they removed it. The taggers get tired of it and we haven't had a single act of vandalism in two years as a result.

    1. I think you are right. They have already removed the graffiti on the bridge itself, but not the corners and the benches. And, they always leave paint on trees, probably because it is so much more complicated. The more reason to get it off fast, before it catches on.

      Very cool that you keep your old church clean. There should be clean spots in a city, free of this tagging crap. People have a right to calm and peace, free of any messages, including advertising.

    2. I agree, Sandra. I think there is good graffiti from people who are serious artists, but they tend to be appropriate and respectful of where they work. We as humans need a bit of quiet - visual as well as audio - to relax the mind.
      I think the kids in my area just see the old church as a ruin and not worth protecting, and not understanding of its significance - hence our vigilance.


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