Vandals have defaced the portrait of a local treasure

DISAPPOINTED: Mayor Sam Johnson is confused and angered by the sudden vandalism of the much loved mural of the late Joy Baluch on the bridge named in her honour.
DISAPPOINTED: Mayor Sam Johnson is confused and angered by the sudden vandalism of the much loved mural of the late Joy Baluch on the bridge named in her honour.

The mural of late Mayor Joy Baluch on the bridge named in her honour has been defaced by unsightly graffiti tags. 

The mural, which was painted by local artists Craig Ellis and Angelique Boots, appeared unannounced on the bridge in time for the official naming ceremony in May of 2013.

At the time of its appearance the mural caused quite a stir after the pair painted the portrait in secret during the middle of the night. 

The portrait was so well received by the community that the council decided it would stay and become a permanent memorial to Joy.

VANDALISM: Graffiti on the portrait of the late Mayor Joy Baluch from Friday July 14.

VANDALISM: Graffiti on the portrait of the late Mayor Joy Baluch from Friday July 14.

Local resident John Cornish drives past the mural daily and was shocked to find someone would deface the portrait of the Port Augusta treasure. 

“I couldn’t believe it, who would be the person who could be that low to do something like that?" He said.

“It made me think about how degrading it is to Joy and all of her family, and everyone who admires that painting.”

Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson has echoed these sentiments, baffled by the motivation of the offenders.  

“It’s incredibly disappointing and very disrespectful,” he said.

“There is no need for anyone to tag anything, and certainly not on something like that — a painting of Joy.”

The Port Augusta Council had the graffiti removed in a timely manor, taking care to not damage the original art, however remnants of the vandalism can still be seen.