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It was a normal business day at Off Broadway Bean when a man claiming to be from the city of Sacramento’s graffiti abatement program told co-owner Patty Solomon that a mural facing the alley off 16th Street would need to be removed.
“It’s a mural, it’s art,” Solomon said. “It’s been here five years.”
When Solomon asked the man for a business card, she said he was gruff with her and refused to give her any information.
According to Maurice Chaney, spokesman for the city’s Community Development Department, which includes code enforcement, the man who went to the coffeehouse at 2416 16th St. wasn’t from graffiti abatement.
“We have no graffiti case in our system,” Chaney said. “I do understand that the person claimed to be a contractor who has worked with the city before. I cannot confirm that either way, however.”
On Thursday, officers from graffiti abatement went to the property to check out the mural.
“We don’t deem this to be any type of graffiti,” Chaney said, adding that it isn’t an advertisement either, and they are only regarding it as art.
The mural covers the entire wall of the business fronting the alley, and is in a style that resembles graffiti or street art, but it definitely isn’t graffiti, according to Skinner, the local artist who painted it.
“I actually have people contacting me because it deters graffiti on their businesses,” Skinner said. “It’s been up five years, and no one has said anything.”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.