It is one of the most common forms of property damage, found across cityscapes and alongside factories and businesses. Some argue that it brings aesthetic value to public spaces, while others are outraged at the clean-up process and the laws that surround the issue. Graffiti vandalism is a crime Kentucky is no stranger to. While public art has certainly captivated urban areas for decades, there is much debate over what, exactly, constitutes as street art altogether.
With colors splashed across cities nationwide, it comes as no surprise that, as shared by U.S. News, graffiti vandalism is a growing problem in Kentucky. And while some forms of graffiti are, indeed, benign and even visually pleasing, others deface monuments and other valuable property. U.S. News points out that Kentucky’s Red River Gorge has seen a spike in spray painted images on the rock surfaces. Part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, the gorge area is a hot spot for nature enthusiasts, but it has also become a favorite among vandals. It may seem a simple fix, but park rangers note the difficulty of removing various types of paint from these beloved parks. The consequences for getting caught vandalizing in the park? Forestry officials warn the public that penalties include fines and prosecution in federal court.
Protected parks are not the only areas to see graffiti; officials in some Kentucky cities have reported increasing numbers of vandalism, as well. Last July, WLKY News highlighted the bridge vandalism that has continued to pervade Louisville. Remarking on the growing graffiti problem, WLKY used statistics from the Graffiti Abatement Coalition to show that, at the time of the article’s publication, there were roughly 100,000 to 200,000 instances of graffiti in the city alone. Public buildings make up 30 to 40 percent of that overwhelming statistic. While cities such as Louisville are grappling with this issue, state officials see vandalism as a serious matter that could come with lasting effects.