"They could have had it up six months ago, restored. They were waiting for this, waiting for that, waiting for this. [The graffiti] kept getting worse and worse. Once there's tagging on it and you don't do anything about it, people feel it's a free-for-all. It just got out of control."
Three months ago he decided to paint over the bottom, which was hardest hit with graffiti. Each morning he'd go back with a paintbrush until finally, about two months ago, the graffiti ceased.
Mirkarimi aide Regina Dick-Eudrizzi told the Guardian that due to a misunderstanding about covering the graffiti, Alaraj used the red paint instead of white, which would have made restoring the mural easier. The red paint doubled the costs, and only recently did Mirkarimi's office and Precita Eyes manage to come up with the $10,000 necessary to complete the restoration. There's a possibility that Precita Eyes could re-create the mural at a new spot, rather than restoring it at its current location. SFBG