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Turku rainbow star vandalised hours after it was created

The star was painted in celebration of gender and sexual diversity.

Thursday's vandalism was not the first time this summer the city has struggled with keeping a LGBTQ-themed rainbow on the streets undisturbed. Image: Andrea Wiklund/Yle

A rainbow star painted on the surface of the Turku's Teatterisilta bridge was subjected to vandalism shortly after it was created.

Black, burnt rubber marks, thought to be left by an electric scooter, were found on the artwork in the early hours of Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after the rainbow colours were painted.

The city of Turku said it commissioned the colourful painting because it wanted to communicate open-mindedness, tolerance and equality, and express support for sexual and gender diversity.

The pattern was designed by environmental artist Jan-Erik Andersson and painted by Turku-based graffiti artist Mr. Oddity.

Thursday's vandalism was not the first time this summer the city has struggled with keeping a LGBTQ-themed rainbow on the streets undisturbed, however.

Turku finally got its rainbow

In early June, the city's effort to adorn a crosswalk in rainbow paint on the street adjacent to the bridge was short lived after the Police Board ruled it was illegal and requested the city to remove it less than a day after it was created.

The city had planned for the colourful crossing to remain at the crossing all summer.

However, when it announced plans to remove the crosswalk paint, the city noted that it had interpreted the Road Traffic Act differently than the Police Board.

When Turku unveiled the rainbow, the city's communications director said that pedestrian crossing traffic signs were adequate and that the crossing could still be used normally.

At the time, Turku's traffic planning manager, Matti Salonen, said the city did not consider the painting to be at odds with the law.

"When the rainbow was to be painted, the city did not consider it to be a device related to traffic. Similar road paint not mentioned in the Act include red bike lanes, green paint indicating electric vehicle charging points and the blue colour sometimes used in parking for individuals with disabilities," Salonen said in early June.

The city of Turku then considered painting the entire bridge of Teatterisilta, but decided that the plan would have been difficult and expensive to implement. The rainbow colours project was realised with Andersson's proposal to paint a rainbow star on the surface of the bridge.