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Street Art or Vandalism: You be the judge in this million dollar debate

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2:55 PM

Every urban community deals with it's share of illegal graffiti vandalism, and its an issue that costs tax payers in Edmonton about $1,000,000 annually. 

You can take part in the Capital City Clean Up by reporting illegal vandalism even in the cold winter months. 

"Capital City Clean Up's graffiti management program isn't something that just runs in the summer," explains Sharon Chapmen of the City of Edmonton. "We do need citizens in Edmonton to report the amount of graffiti that they see throughout the winter months. When we get the complaints throughout the winter, we do not enforce them, bylaw officers do not go out and require that you clean up right away – our climate does not allow for that." 

SEE ALSO: Artist turns snow mountain into stunning painting!

But not all graffiti is vandalism, and one urban street artist takes advantage of the city's sanctioned street art murals to practice his talent. 

"Well there is always going to be illegal graffiti art and I think it comes down to situations like this," says style artist Mike Rogers. "If the writers had walls to go paint and people saw that it's more an art than vandalism, perhaps more people would be willing to commission walls and donate more space for the art form." 

Graffiti has been a debatable form of art for many years, and truth be told it's one worth debating about. 

Every year, thousands of auctioneers and collectors ready to pay millions of dollars in order to add another artistic graffiti piece to their collection. 

But does that make etching, painting or placing of a mark on public or private property OK? That, is yet to be determined.

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