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Some of my favorite graffiti in the EU

Cork, Ireland
Spanish graffiti

• On a wall on Calle Sierpes, Seville:

"Solo la verdad is sexy" (Only the truth is sexy)

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Irish graffiti

A popular form of graffiti in Ireland is the alteration of existing text.

• At a popular downtown Dublin pub, somebody had scratched letters off a notice on a window behind the bench seating:
Was: "Mind your personal belongings"
Became: "Mind your personal belongings"

• In Galway, somebody had added to a stenciled warning at a parking garage.
Was: "NO TRAILERS"
Became: "NO TRAVLERS"
This is either a racist joke or a wry statement on the racism of the original message. Travellers are a nomadic race native to Ireland, and travel trailers (caravans, in Irish-English) are their homes.

[I have to admit, on reflection, that this graffito is not likely anything but racist. I had not wanted to admit that, because the wordplay is clever, the way it coincides with a cultural phenomenon. But considering the awful racism against Irish Travellers, it's not realistic to consider this piece a "wry statement." It's racist.]


• In Kilkenny is a nice example of sheer minimalism. The applied lettering on a sidewalk board at the entry to a small shopping center lists the name of a CD shop.
Was: "Resistance Records."
Became: "Resistance Records."

• Also in Kilkenny is a small metal sign by an electrical fixture on a corner near sidewalk level; black on yellow. Somebody has scratched off a letter.
Was:
DANGER
KEEP AWAY
Became:
DANGER
KEEP AWAY

• At the LIDL supermarket in Kilkenny, somebody has altered a sign which prohibits the removal of shopping carts:
Was: "Please note:"
Became: "Please note:"

("E" is "excstasy," the empathy-expanding substance often used as a party drug. ["X," in American English.)


• In Athy, somebody has apparently removed wooden letters from the top front of a boarded-up former pub.
Was: "CANAL SIDE INN."
Became: "CANAL SIDE INN."
(I guess the lads didn't have time to get the terminal "N" down.)

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Dutch graffiti

Nijmegen The Netherlands is a leftist college town, and sports a mostly political bent in its text graffiti.

• "Regering is voor sukkels" ("Government is for chumps.")

• "Als oorlog het antwoord is, wat dan was de vraag?" ("If war is the answer, then what was the question?") — Accompanied by a good basic stencil of the sidelong top view of a B-52 oncoming.

• "Eigendom is diefstal" ("Ownership is thievery.") ***

• "Geen mens is illegaal" ("Nobody is illegal.")

• Graphic — Bart Simpson head-on pointing a slingshot, wearing a kerchief over his lower face. Text — "Politie: Onmisbaar" has a double meaning. Onmisbaar means "indispensable;" but it also means you couldn't miss.

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