Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?

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Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?

The Cana­dian kid goes to Bogota, Colom­bia, indulges in mis­be­hav­ior, gets away with it, and now the locals want to, too: Justin Bieber’s visit to Bogota opened doors for Colom­bian graf­fiti artists. Well, par­don my old-​fogieness, but “graf­fiti artist” is an oxy­moron. Van­dal­ism is what comes to mind. But, when you’re a celebrity who gets paid thou­sands of dol­lars, you get away with it,

The 19-​year-​old Cana­dian heart­throb gave a con­cert on an Octo­ber night and then took to the streets of this cap­i­tal, wear­ing a hoodie and spray-​painting a Cana­dian maple leaf atop a mar­i­juana leaf along­side a trib­ute to his dead ham­ster, Pac. It all hap­pened under the watch­ful eye of the met­ro­pol­i­tan police, whose offi­cers served as secu­rity detail.

Now the Colom­bian author­i­ties have to deal with hun­dreds of “street artists” doing their thing not only in Bogota, but also in Cali, Medellin and other big Colom­bian cities — with oth­ers in smaller cities sure to join in.

What hap­pened next? For one, Bogota out­lined sanc­tions for defac­ing pub­lic property.

And Justin, who was told that, when he returns to Colom­bia, he may have to give a free con­cert for chil­dren (so the lit­tle kids may get to see him up close as a role model?), went on to Brazil, where he spray-​painted the walls of Rio de Janeiro’s Hotel Nacional:

At this rate, he may get a show at the Whit­ney Museum in New York.

The Canadian kid goes to Bogota, Colombia, indulges in misbehavior, gets away with it, and now the locals want to, too:  Justin Bieber’s visit to Bogota opened doors for Colombian graffiti artists. Well, pardon my old-fogieness, but “graffiti artist” is an oxymoron. Vandalism is what comes to mind. But, when you’re a celebrity who gets paid thousands of dollars, you get away with it,

The 19-year-old Canadian heartthrob gave a concert on an October night and then took to the streets of this capital, wearing a hoodie and spray-painting a Canadian maple leaf atop a marijuana leaf alongside a tribute to his dead hamster, Pac. It all happened under the watchful eye of the metropolitan police, whose officers served as security detail.

Now the Colombian authorities have to deal with hundreds of “street artists” doing their thing not only in Bogota, but also in Cali, Medellin and other big Colombian cities – with others in smaller cities sure to join in.

What happened next? For one, Bogota outlined sanctions for defacing public property.

And Justin, who was told that, when he returns to Colombia, he may have to give a free concert for children (so the little kids may get to see him up close as a role model?), went on to Brazil, where he spray-painted the walls of Rio de Janeiro’s Hotel Nacional:

At this rate, he may get a show at the Whitney Museum in New York.