Iconic Albuquerque Pac Man mural tagged over with graffiti

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Someone spray-painted all over an Albuquerque artist’s iconic work downtown, vandalizing a piece people have enjoyed for years.

The tagger was caught on surveillance video covering up another artist’s work in the middle of the night.

Throughout Albuquerque, artists have left their mark on walls, buildings, and work spaces.

“There’s a lot of really talented mural artists that portray their art here in the city,” said Elise Payette, who lives in Albuquerque.

And when drivers downtown exit Lead off of I-25, they’re used to seeing the iconic Pac Man piece.

Workers at the warehouse commissioned a local artist for the piece years ago. Over the years, the warehouse has seen visitors from across the country stop to take photos in front of the Pac Man mural.

Then last week, surveillance cameras captured one guy ruining it all. He spent a half hour tagging a name completely over the Pac Man mural.

Local artists say it’s common courtesy to leave someone else’s mural alone.

“You don’t tag over someone else’s work,” said Frank Depalma. “It’s an iconic thing, and for the other artist to go over that, I think that was very disrespectful.”

“You don’t need to do it over someone else’s artwork, especially something that’s been there for a while that people like to go look at,” explained Olivia Budak.

But if the vandal was looking for his 15 seconds of fame, he won’t get it here. The name he wrote in pink and red graffiti was just wiped clean.

Workers called 311 and a city crew arrived to clean up the graffiti.

Warehouse workers downtown said they’ll commission another piece of art for people to enjoy, with the hope that vandals will leave the artwork alone this time.

“The artists you know should respect each other’s work,” said Depalma.

Workers at that warehouse are hiring the same Pac Man artist for a new mural. They said this time he’ll likely paint a version of the Super Mario Bros.

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