Graffiti and tagging

Graffiti and tagging

Dear Editor,

I am retired and from the US. I recently purchased and renovated an apartment in Graça (Lisbon). This is not an Airbnb; it is for my personal use. I made a financial investment in Lisbon because of the topography, weather, antiquity, location on the sea and proximity to the rest of Europe.

I have contacted City Hall regarding the graffiti on Calçada do Monte, but as an American, it is difficult navigating these portals and I never get a satisfactory response.

I love street art, but indiscriminate vandalism via graffiti and tagging on private dwellings and sacred historic structures is intolerable. It is rampant throughout Lisbon.

Lisbon is the face of Portugal, historic and architecturally beautiful. The current program of curtailing taggers is not effective. It makes the city appear poor and third world. Lisbon is better than that and I am sure if you profiled the taggers, they are not up-and-coming artists or key contributors to your economy. Young people need to comply with the law or face consequences.

Tagging almost appears to be a “joke” throughout Lisbon. So common, it has become part of the landscape. If someone has a political concern, organise a rally. None of this would be tolerated in Singapore. I am from New York City and we were the capital of graffiti in the 1970s. It has been basically eradicated in most areas.

I was in Times Square recently and had a hard time finding any tagging.

Some hard-line recommendations: 1) Stop selling spray paint and “markers” in all stores. 2) Mandatory cleanup of graffiti as part of the school curriculum. Once per month, have a Pride in Lisbon Day and have students clean up the tagging 3) Teach pride in Lisbon and the respect of other people’s property and do not justify random graffiti by saying it is a creative or political outlet. How about if my creative outlet was to spray paint their clothing or confiscation of their iPhone? 4) Night patrolling to stop tagging. If someone is caught, they must spend 20 Saturdays cleaning up graffiti 5) Property owners must be responsible to cleanup graffiti within a 48-hour time period 6) Ivy is a great way to curtail graffiti. Green foliage is a great way to stop tagging. 7) Get a celebrity to campaign against destroying someone’s property. I am sure Ronaldo could send a message that tagging is not cool. Authorized street art is cool.

I love the people of Lisbon and I love Lisbon. Please do not let this continue. I do not care how artistic someone is, laws are laws, I have many pictures where buildings are destroyed by taggers. Nothing is artistic about any of this. Do gang members have this much power? It is time for action.

Bruce Miller