Willie Nelson Statue in Downtown Austin Defaced with Graffiti, Promptly Cleaned by Local Crews


Austin’s tribute to one of its most iconic residents, the Willie Nelson statue, faced an act of disrespect overnight. Vandals left their mark on the bronze representation of the legendary country singer, located prominently at the corner of Lavaca Street and West 2nd Street. According to the Downtown Austin Alliance, a defacing scrawl was discovered sprayed around the feet of Nelson’s likeness.

Early on Friday morning, crews from the Downtown Austin Alliance swiftly handled the situation. They came equipped with power washers, aiming to restore the statue to its original state. Despite the shock, the damage was reported as minor. CBS Austin shared that the graffiti was limited to the statue’s pedestal, a sign that, while the act was thoughtless, it was fortunately not permanent.

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The community was quick to react to the news of the vandalism with disappointment, particularly given Willie Nelson’s deep roots and beloved status within the city. Nelson, a long-time Austinite, has come to embody not just the city’s vibrant music scene, but also its laid-back and welcoming culture. Images shared by the Downtown Austin Alliance captured the defiled state of the artwork before the intervention.

While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the vandalism, the incident adds to a series of recent affronts on public art. Documentation of the cleanup efforts was provided by a local news source, with video evidence showing the use of a power washer to remove the unwelcome addition. Authorities have not released any further details about potential suspects or motives behind the tagging.

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