LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A new mural at the corner of Jefferson and Preston Streets in downtown Louisville is one of the city's latest instances of vandalism.

The mural, located under the I-65 interstate, is nearly 9-feet tall and 30-feet long.

It is clear to see previous graffiti on the same wall had been painted over in the past which the latest now covers.

“You can’t go a block in this area of downtown where you don’t have small tags or large murals,” said Joshua White, from the Graffiti Abatement Coalition.

Just a few yards away from the mural, ten concrete pylons have been tagged with the words “I am.” A few weeks ago, code enforcement spray painted the pylons with warning signs that read “No trespassing.”

White says based on a 2016 study, Louisville has the most incidents of graffiti per capita than any other city in the country. The coalition reports more than 7,000 incidents over just three percent of the city.  

“If you take that down and you leave all of this up ... everything I can see right now or anything else within two blocks ... I am talking public or private property, it is going to invite them to come,” White said.

Several factors are believed to be the cause of not only the increase in frequency of graffiti, but also the size of the murals.

The word “Gentrification” can clearly be seen on the walls of a new apartment complex on Baxter Avenue.

“It is just sad when you see it on brand new structures and things like that ... it is definitely sad," said Devon Wallace, who lives by a new large mural in Old Louisville.

White believes not reporting or doing anything about the problem is condoning and accepting it.

“Graffiti proliferates. It builds and builds and builds and now Louisville is a destination town for graffiti vandalism,” he said.

The Coalition is planning on organizing a 2018 graffiti census with the help of high school students sometime in March. The report will then be handed over to the city.  

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