Johnny Cash mural on Arkansas water tower springs an awkward leak

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A Johnny Cash mural on a water tower was vandalised in the rock star’s hometown of Kingsland, Arkansas (WKYC Channel 3/Youtube)
A Johnny Cash mural on a water tower was vandalised in the rock star’s hometown of Kingsland, Arkansas (WKYC Channel 3/Youtube)

Art, by its very nature, is a subjective beast.

That would explain why some in the small town of Kingsland, Arkansas have found themselves drawn to the area’s water tower to capture a shot of the latest act of vandalism on a mural of hometown hero Johnny Cash, while others have found themselves put off by the recent display that makes it appear as though the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is relieving himself on the town where the legend was born and raised.

On Tuesday, officials for the town reported that the silhouetted mural that was installed on the 50,000-gallon water tank to commemorate Mr Cash’s heritage was defaced by a single bullet hole, aimed in such a way so as to appear as though the town’s water supply was urine escaping from the Man in Black’s frame.

“Somebody shot our water tower, shot the silhouette of Johnny Cash in a very sensitive area,” Luke Neal, the town’s mayor, told KLRT. “It’s been leaking for the last – almost week.”

The vandalism is garnering attention from the town’s inhabitants, with some responding with a chuckle while others, like Kingsland’s mayor, have pointed out how the seemingly small bullet hole is causing a headache of logistical repairs. And they aren’t cheap.

The Johnny Cash mural was defaced by a single bullet hole this past week in Kingsland, Arkansas (KHBS/KHOG/Youtube)
The Johnny Cash mural was defaced by a single bullet hole this past week in Kingsland, Arkansas (KHBS/KHOG/Youtube)

Since the water tower sprung its leak, it’s been losing 30,000 gallons of water a day, forcing the town to switch to a water line that, as Mr Neal told KLRT, could cause the drinking water to “be discoloured”.

Not only are the repairs to the tower going to fetch a high fixup fee – $5,000 – but the thousands of gallons of water being poured out onto the dirt below is leading to the town to lose $200 worth of water a day.

“It might seem small in bigger places … but for here it’s a pretty large number,” the mayor told the local news outlet.

An investigation is underway with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, who told KLRT that they’ve got some leads in the case.

If caught, the responsible person could face a felony charge for tampering with a vital resource to the community.

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