12/04/2013 09:32 EST | Updated 02/03/2014 05:59 EST

'Racist' attack targets Pointe-Saint-Charles mural

Residents in Pointe-Saint-Charles say they were shocked to discover a beloved community mural was vandalized overnight.

The mural, which stretches for more than 80 metres along a railroad retaining wall, was organized by Collectif au pied du mur, a group of local artists.

Completed in September, the painting celebrates the community’s rich diversity, showing a range of cultural and ethnic groups.

But yesterday, residents woke up to find part of the mural had been painted over.

Marco Silvestro, a member of the collective that organized the mural, said he was biking with his daughter when he spotted the defaced painting.

Vandals had used white paint to cover the face of a black woman.

“It’s clearly a racist, xenophobic act,” Silvestro said.  

He said he was disgusted by what he saw.

“We’re trying to promote solidarity, living together and multiculturalism. So it doesn’t make sense like something like this would happen.”

Silvestro said the mural, which is the result of the work of 160 community members, had never been a target of graffiti before.

“There’s a very big respect for this mural,” he said.

The community group said it plans to clean up the painting in the next few days and repaint it as soon as possible.