City trying to keep "Before I Die" murals clean - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

City trying to keep "Before I Die" murals clean

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By: Melissa Randall

Twitter: @MelissaARandall

Obscene words and graffiti are taking over a popular Providence art display meant to inspire hope. Most people are taking the project seriously by writing down their ultimate goals, but the mural is public, meaning anyone can write on it. And with that come the good, the bad, and the ugly. The city is now doing what it can to keep it clean.

Hundreds of people have scrawled personal answers on the "Before I Die" board in Kennedy Plaza since it popped up two weeks ago. It started as a positive project, but now the 8–foot tall black board in the middle of down town is riddled with graffiti and curse words. People passing by have to come face to face with them each day.

"It's kind of scary to look at some of the things that are there," said Shelby Miller of North Providence.

"I just think it's disrespectful," said Marissa Bell who is visiting the city from Pennsylvania.

The murals were put up by the city. The planning board says offensive writing comes with the territory. That's why the board is washed clean each day providing people with a clean slate.

The city hopes negative criticism won't harm the projects ultimate goal, and so far it doesn't seem to be.

"Underneath all the negative comments there's something that was hopeful at some point," said Micheal Cosby.

The board is actually one of two in the city. Both murals will remain up until the rest of the month, and will return in the spring.

(C) WLNE–TV 2013

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