For three centuries, it's stood here, completely ungraffitied... until earlier this week, when the citizenry arose from their oblivious slumber to find the words "SHAB" and "SLUF" spray-painted in four-foot tall letters, possibly by people named Shab and Sluf.
We suppose we need to state the obvious here, which is that this was a totally uncool thing to do. But that shouldn't stop us from marveling at the full metal freakout this inspired. That every elected official in town tripped over the microphone wires in their haste to condemn this comes as no surprise. What else were they going to say? But from the force of their anger, you'd think a Korean was responsible.
The outrage was magnified via social media - where, if nothing else good comes of this, we discovered a Facebook group called the Querétaro Citizens Brigade, which we're sure will provide innumerable future blog posts. Big fans of the ALL CAPS SCHOOL OF DEBATE, the only thing they were unable to agree on is whether the perps should have their hands and feet cut off, or just their feet.
The case went to the highest levels of law enforcement here. In record time, the PGJ had a suspect in custody. According to their statement, "investigators implemented police intelligence strategies, supported by all the tools of technology" to get their man. Translated from the original Big Swingin' Dick-ese: The kids who did this bragged about it on Facebook.
|"Sluf" posing in front of his tag, via his Facebook page.|
In the end, it turned out the kids were actually really kids, and in a rare instance of Mexican law making total sense, PGJ can prosecute them, but can't hold them in prison while they do, so the kid (one of them, at least - it's unclear where the other is) walked. We're guessing the kid smashes a police car window just to get taken back to prison, where they lynch mob can't hurt him.
Anyway, after all the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, it turns out that the Aqueduct is made of mortar and stone, and that removing spraypaint from mortar and stone is pretty simple and straightforward - though INAH (which has always been completely on the ball when it comes to safeguarding the integrity of the Arcos) puts the paint-removal costs at over 8,000 dollars, which is something we'd definitely like to see an itemized breakdown of.
As long as we're draining the public till to stop the spread of graffiti, we should probably remind the many, many local officials who read this blog that, like the Aqueduct, Burro Hall Enterprises World HQ has been a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site for 16 years now (by way of comparison, Jesus Christ's birthplace was only admitted this past summer) and, as such, graffitiing its exterior is a crime punishable by five (5) years in jail. Here is the eastern facade of our office as of 4pm today. It's looked this way for almost two months now. The mess on the left started out as a giant winged heart, testifying to the tagger's love of someone named "Montse." It's not known what went wrong between them, but a few weeks later Montse's name was painted over, angrily.
We're pretty sure that if someone pulled this shit on the Baby Jesus's house, they have it washed off tout de fuckin' suite. Burro Hall deserves no less.