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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Action Leaves Landmark Looking Blank

August 18, 1993|JEFF MEYERS

Students returning to Buena High School this fall will notice that a giant cover-up has taken place.

Where once was a 5,000-square-foot mural of a beach scene is now a blank wall painted off-white.

Running the length of the gym wall and towering over the main quad, the mural was a campus landmark for nearly a decade.

But even though it was protected with anti-graffiti sealer used on New York subways, the mural fell victim to graffiti taggers and the elements.

"The paint was peeling and bubbling and looking pretty bad," said Buena Principal Jaime Castellanos.

Last month, as part of a general school repainting, painters obliterated the panoramic scene of surfers, palm trees and sunset over the Channel Islands. Not everyone is mourning the mural's demise.

"I think people were getting sick of it," said Jeff Truman, a 17-year-old recent graduate. "It was real '80s."

Finished in 1985, the mural was funded and created by students with the knowledge that it wouldn't last forever, said Diane Harriman, Ventura school board trustee. Its passing is part of the natural order.

"Other classes will want to have their own mural," Harriman said. "They've got to have an empty wall to work with."

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