Perpetrators caught on camera vandalizing murals on Frenchmen

Updated: May. 21, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The murals along Frenchmen Street that put smiles on peoples' faces during a difficult time were vandalized over the weekend.

"It was heartbreaking, because the original artist that did all the pop art brought some life to the street that was otherwise dead," Jesse Paige, Owner of Blue Nile said.

Paige captured the perpetrators on his surveillance camera.

"It looked that it was a male that had a dish detergent bottle full of white paint and he just sprayed it all over the place," Paige said.

In the video, a man is seen pulling up to Blue Nile on his bike, as he interacts with another man.

He then pulls out a bottle and squirts white paint on the murals, including one, of Dr. John.

"That was the one piece that I cared about the most because Dr. John had played at the Blue Nile. Obviously, Dr. John is a valued musician and friend of ours that has passed awa and that was a very special piece to us," Paige said.

Amzie Adams is one of the artists whose pieces were vandalized.

"I was mad about it and I decided I wanted to find out who it was at least. So I put it on my Facebook feed and asked everybody if they knew the guy cause we had him on stills and we had him on video," Adams said.

He said he found and confronted the man responsible.

"He wanted to give me all these reasons. To me, it just looked like he just was spraying over peoples' work. So, what's the reason?" Adams asked.

Adams says their goal was to bring Frenchmen Street back to life.

"People had really loved it, you know? They were like whoa this is great, coming back, it's beautiful, I've got a reason to walk down Frenchmen, whereas before it was like a forest of plywood. It was horrible," Adams said.

"The fact that somebody, I was told that person is an artist him or herself as well ruined it for no reason really upsets me," Jiwon Hwang, another mural artist said.

Paige says not only did the vandalizers tag the plywood, they also marked his actual building, which he will have to cover.

“At a time when we have bigger things to worry about than this, this becomes an annoyance and it becomes costly, and I hope that people look to help businesses reopen, and not hurt businesses that are closed and trying their best to hold on,” Paige said.

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