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Downtown murals beautify and prevent graffiti

Posted at 4:18 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 20:29:19-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Eight new murals have been painted on downtown buildings in an effort to beautify and attract people to the area as well as prevent graffiti.

Since July of 2015, the city has paid more than $118,000 a month for graffiti abatement. 

The Tucson Mural Project was paid for by a $50,000 grant from the Tohono O'Odham Nation and $2,000 from Visit Tucson.

Eight artists were chosen from 58 applicants and the buildings were volunteered by businesses.

Many of those businesses have been tagged many times by vandals. The city hopes the murals will be a deterrent.

One of those buildings is the Benjamin Plumbing Supply on 6th.

"The whole block is victim to tagging," said the store's owner Mark Burman. "It's a big problem down here."

However, Burman said their choice to donate their building to the project was more about beautifying downtown and promoting the arts.

"We've always been involved with art and art galleries in this complex. We currently we have three art galleries on 6th street," said Burman. 

Burman is still concerned vandals could tag his building, but part of the grant will cover anti-graffiti top coat that will make removal easier. The artists also used a primer that will help prevent the graffiti paint from seeping into the wall. 

The eight murals are in different places around downtown. Click here for a map of the locations.