Bonn. The city of Bonn has announced that it will clean the daubed cherry trees in Bonn's old town by Easter. According to police, there are no clues yet as to who the perpetrators are.
The paint on dozens of cherry trees that were smeared in the old town on Friday is apparently washable. “It seems to be a water-soluble acrylic paint, according to the view of colleagues from the office for urban green spaces”, Stefanie Zießnitz from the press office announced on Monday in response to a GA question. The administration expects that all affected trees will be cleaned of the white paint that unknown people painted or sprayed on the bark, by Easter.
The responsible office for urban green spaces had initially thought that there would not be sufficient staff available for such an undertaking during the holiday season, bearing in mind the many pending garden maintenance works in the entire city area before the public holidays. “But colleagues from another garden district can help us out”, explained Zießnitz. In total, about 50 trees are involved. Initially, the city and police had counted 43 trees, but according to the city, more trees also been defaced with white smears had been identified in the Vorgebirgsstraße.
The city was grateful that some residents had already washed some of the paint off with water after the discovery on Friday, but also point out to energetic helpers that the use of high-pressure cleaners, wire brushes and detergents or solvents is not suitable, because it can damage both the bark and soil microorganisms. A biological product used by the municipal building management to remove graffiti did not have to be used. The city had thought about using it if the paint had proven to be more stubborn.
The administration expects that all the trees will be clear of paint in the next two days. As reported, during the night into Friday or on Friday morning, unknown persons had applied the white paint. On some trees, the words "tree" and "fell" could be read.
The city then notified the damage to property to the police. The police spokesman, Robert Scholten, said on Monday that no indications were available so far as to who the perpetrators were and that investigations were continuing. Because there were not enough employees available on Friday, the office for urban green spaces only began to deal with the problem at the beginning of this week. This meant that the paint remained on the trees during the flea market and some weekend events in the old town.
Original Text: Philipp Königs; translation John Chandler