The iconic mural on the Third Avenue side of the Kondolas Furniture and Appliances building on Oliver Street that depicts scenes from around the Cariboo and has welcomed locals and visitors alike to the city’s downtown core for almost 20 years was being painted over Thursday, Sept. 28. The painter hired to paint the building, who would not give his name, said people had been calling out their complaints to him all morning. The shop keeper inside the store who would also not give his name said he had no comment. Gaeil Farrar photo

Iconic mural painted over

Mayor Walt Cobb expressed extreme disappointment when learning Thursday that the lakecity’s first mural on the Third Avenue side of Kondolas Furniture and Appliances had been painted over with white paint.

“It is extremely disheartening to hear of the lack of respect for Williams Lake’s first mural,” Cobb said in a press release. “We have worked hard to establish Williams Lake as the Mural Capital of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, and this iconic part of our downtown core is now lost.”

Cobb said when council learned Kondola Furniture’s owner Paul Kondola wanted to paint over the mural in order to upgrade the building’s appearance, council and staff reached out to him repeatedly during the past few months in an effort to persuade him to reconsider.

He said Kondola was also advised that funding was available to restore the mural at no cost to himself.

Local artist Dwayne Davis painted the mural in 2000, depicting Farwell Canyon and other local Cariboo scenes such as Three Sisters mountains and Tsuniah Lake, a fishing scene and bears.

It was one of 19 murals featured throughout Williams Lake.

When the Tribune interviewed a man recognized as Paul Kondola Thursday morning at his business, he refused to give his name and said he had no comment on the issue.

The painter working on the project, who also refused to be identified, said he had received numerous complaints from people who didn’t want the mural removed, but that is was his job and he had already lost weeks of work this summer due to the wildfires.

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