North Carolina mural meant to promote inclusivity and diversity is vandalized

North Carolina News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — Bradley Read is one person who enjoys the message behind some of the murals in Charlotte.

That’s why it comes as a shock someone would vandalize a popular one on North Tryon Street.

“There is still a lot of differences out there and a lot of hatred out there,” Read said. “The artist spent a ton of time on it, and they put their heart and soul into that, and then someone comes along and just ruins it. It’s just gross.”

A mural meant to empower women and promote inclusivity and diversity along a business street in uptown Charlotte will now have to be repainted.

“It’s really amazing that in this day and age that there’s still that level of hate,” Read said.

Nick Napoletano is the artist who painted it on the side of Aerial CLT in 2017. A place where women and children go to learn about fitness.

“It’s unfortunate. I’m hoping that it was a kid or someone who was not necessarily aware of what they were doing,” Napoletano said. “Things like this are happening, potentially because there’s deeper work to be done.”

The mural is not the only one that has been damaged in the area recently. Another one on the side of a building at the corners of Yancey and Old Pineville Road was too. Employees said someone damaged the mural this weekend while they were driving, tore part of it off, and kept going.

“The opportunity to paint something that’s going to be well seen allows us to dialogue with the future version of ourselves. That’s ultimately the better version of ourselves.” Napoletano said. “The more that I can put these pieces around various cities that motivate people to optimize and treat others better hopefully, that change will be instilled.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said crimes like property damage are down overall by 9% compared to last year. They urge business owners to report instances like this.

Right now, efforts are underway to raise money to repaint the damaged part of the mural. You can contact the artist on Instagram @napoletanoart or Venmo @nicholas-napoletano to donate funds.

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