A vibrant art mural visible to bikers and joggers along the Charles River Esplanade was vandalized sometime overnight Thursday into Friday, officials said.
The work, called “Patterned Behavior,” has been underneath an overpass and along a bike path since July 2017, was commissioned by the Esplanade Association, a nonprofit that worked with private and public partners to bring the project to fruition.
Local artist Silvia Lopez Chavez painted the brightly-colored mural on three pillars and an adjacent wall, according to the association.
Photographs released by Friday by the association appear to show the mural vandalized with large black-and white graffiti.
State Police, which has jurisdiction in that area, confirmed that they received a report of the vandalism Friday afternoon and that an investigation is open and ongoing.
“We’re devastated that someone would choose to vandalize what has become a popular, uplifting and colorful addition to the Esplanade,” said Michael Nichols, the Esplanade Association’s executive director, in a statement.
Nichols said his group is working with the artist and Now + There, a Boston group that develops public art projects, to “assess the cost of repairs to the artwork, and we hope to restore the work as soon as possible.”
The Esplanade Association, which is dedicated to maintaining and improving the Charles River Esplanade, is encouraging people who have information about the vandalism to contact State Police, and the group has launched a GoFundMe drive to help cover the expense of restoring the mural, which was set to expire next July.