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Mystery Painters Fight Graffiti in Reykjavík

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Mystery Painters Fight Graffiti in Reykjavík

A “gang” of mystery painters who go by the name of Betri baer (“Better town”) painted over graffiti in central Reykjavík in the shadow of darkness on Wednesday night in protest of the lack of action taken by city authorities to fight graffiti.

“I was thinking about placing a sign in my window where I thank them and offer to give them money for the paint,” designer and shop owner Bragi Halldórsson told DV. His shop Raminosk on Laugavegur has recently been targeted by so-called taggers, but this week the walls turned white again thanks to the mystery painters.

Graffiti is a growing problem in the capital.

The three members of charity Betri baer, who prefer to remain anonymous, released a statement following their actions Wednesday night, saying they wanted to bring attention to the visual pollution of graffiti and to make authorities realize that it does not have to be expensive or labor intensive to fight it, as they proved by painting several walls in one night.

The best way to fight graffiti is simply to repaint walls immediately, the painters said.

The boys who were responsible for the latest wave of graffiti on Laugavegur were arrested and will probably have expensive fines. Halldórsson said he is thankful for the support of city authorities but believes there are better ways to make these boys stop damaging property.

Halldórsson suggests organizing an outdoor graffiti workshop in broad daylight where those interested can express themselves in an artistic way. For example, they could spray-paint t-shirts which Halldórsson could then sell in his store.

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