Mural Protections

Following best practices, such as applying clear-coating at the time of painting a mural, can extend its lifespan and provide an effective deterrent against annoying taggers and vandals. However, most murals will eventually require some maintenance over time. It is recommended that a maintenance fee be set aside at the time a mural is commissioned, to allow for touch-ups and repainting, if necessary.

VARA rights establish protections for legitimate public artworks, such as murals, giving the artist legal recourse in the event of damage or destruction of artwork. However, these rights are not always upheld by city graffiti removal crews and business owners; In some cases, graffiti removal workers have painted over legal, permitted artworks, and some business owners have painted over fading, damaged, or peeling murals, instead of offering the original artist the chance to repair the mural, as outlined by law. As a result, artists whose VARA rights are violated are often forced to engage in costly and time-consuming legal battles.

One solution to the problem of cataloging and valuating murals is to establish a mural registry program which clearly outlines the names of the artist or artist organization who created the artwork, the location of the artwork, and the legal permissions giving by the building owner or commissioning body. Mural registries can work in conjunction with mural maps and local wikis for mural tours and other events and activities utilizing art in public spaces.

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