demonstrant schoonmaak leuzen erasmus plaza foto Elmer Smaling
A protester, with a beanbag, occupies the spot where the cleaner wants to remove a slogan. Image credit: Elmer Smaling

Removing the paint proved to be much harder than the university expected, a spokesperson says. ‘It turned out not to be water paint as we expected. On Tuesday, the cleaner has already spent an hour and a half removing one graffiti.’ The cleaning progresses extra slowly because protesters strategically park themselves on or in front of slogans, so that the cleaner cannot reach them. The university is not intervening as yet, the spokesperson informed.

The LED screen was spraypainted with the text ‘Free Gaza’ late last week and is broken as a result. Replacing the entire screen will cost 90,000 euros, but it may be possible to do it more cheaply. ‘If we replace only a part of the LED panels, we might limit the damage to 25,000 euros,’ the spokesperson said. The university is looking into the possibility of recovering all costs from the protesters.

To the police

The Executive Board has now decided to press charges for the damaging of the screen. Earlier, the spokesperson said the university has footage of protesters climbing the screen. Because of face covering, it remains to be seen whether the perpetrators can be traced. A second report is being filed at the police because of a slogan that was painted after the Executive Board announced on Monday that it would no longer tolerate graffiti.


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