Vandals deface Space Invader art in Little Italy

SAN DIEGO - Vandals defaced a Little Italy business, tearing down an urban art piece from the building's facade.
The artwork, a mosaic image of a video game creature and a paintbrush, was one of more than 20 pieces created by the French urban street artist, Space Invader. Each piece had been strategically placed all over downtown San Diego back in 2010 as part of a city-wide urban street project. On a map, the location of the each art piece forms an outline of the creature from the sky.
"We came in on a Saturday morning and we noticed there was some dust on the ground, we looked up and realized, where's our Space Invader piece?," explained Greg Pita, General Manager of Blick Art Materials on India Street. "We posted something on instagram...we got a few people sending us pictures of some men in the process of taking it."
Witnesses told Pita that two men brough a ladder and a chisel to take down the 100+ mosaic tile piece around ten o'clock at night. A witness nearby took photos of the men involved, and forwarded them to the store.
"Someone in the area was eating and saw what was going on and asked the men what they were doing, and they said they were taking the piece down as part of a religious movement," added Pita. "Space Invader apparently made some claims in New York I believe was against the Jewish religion, and they were making a statement against him and his work."
Now, the art supply store is making their own statement, by putting up a poster warning the public about the vandals. Pita told 10News the mosaic pieces were left scattered on the ground, a few pieces tossed in the trash.
"There's not enough public artwork as it is, and just to do that, it's not right," commented Little Italy resident Bryan Blascutta. "They actually destroyed it for the sake of destroying it, I think it's kind of stupid and shows the moral integrity of the people who did it."
Pita explains Space Invader's original pieces are worth a lot of money, but it's not about the money for his store.
"It's about Little Italy, the art itself in San Diego, and the big art community," Pita said. "We had this cool piece up, and now it's a scarred building...We feel disrespected, we would have appreciated them going about it a different way."

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