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D.C. elementary school fights back against graffiti

Artist Rahmaan Statik works on a mural for the MuralsDC program. (WJLA)

A D.C. elementary school repeatedly tagged with graffiti is fighting back against vandals with art. The project - part of the MuralsDC program - is funded by the Department of Public Works.

A couple of blocks from Nats Park, the playground at Eagle Academy Public Charter School is getting a new look.

Artist Rahmaan Statik said, "As an artist, it's something I'm leaving behind for the people and it's a good addition to the overall environment. It's more for the positive."

In less than 24 hours, the Chicago-based artist had already transformed an often-tagged wall on the school's campus into a beautiful mural. Working day and night, he expected to complete it early next week.

Organizers with the MuralsDC program said the mural's $10,000 price tag is well worth the cost to District taxpayers.

DPW's MuralsDC Coordinator Nancee Lyons said, "Either we're spending money to abate or the property owner is, so we're just trying to save people money and taxpayers money."

Every year, about a half dozen of the District's constantly graffiti-covered walls are reinvented by the program. The artists are selected by the D.C. Arts Commission.

The public works department said, out of 55 walls across the District painted by MuralsDC, only a handful - maybe four - have been tagged again. Even then, it is usually discreet.

Artists believe that's because there is a code on the street: even vandals respect works of art.

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