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Woman says mural that is her pride and joy is bane of city’s existence

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OLATHE, Kan. -- When Bianca McCollough painted a seemingly innocent mural on her garage, she didn’t know she’d be committing a crime.

Any Monty Python fan will recognize "The Ministry of Silly Walking." It’s a comedy skit that pokes fun of a city’s ability to create any law, in this case, silly walking.

“This is my pride and joy and apparently the bane of the city’s existence,” said McCollough.

That’s because the city of Olathe doesn’t consider it as art. McCollough painted the mural in April and received a citation a few weeks later.

When McCollough received a letter from the city saying that her mural was considered graffiti, she painted another mural in response. This one, Bring Me Another Shrubbery, which is another nod to a Monty Python movie.

“I think that’s the way to go. That’s the whole spirit of Monty Python,” said McCollough.

The city says it received three complaints in less than a month. That comes as a surprise to McCollough, and also to a random neighbor. Joan Gilson heard about the mural and says she had to stop by.

“I think classifying this as graffiti is a bureaucratic foul up,” said Gilson.

The city says it will review the definition of graffiti in the context of other cities’ definitions. As a tax paying citizen, she says it’s her right to do what she wants with her property.

“It makes me proud to pull into my driveway,” McCollough said.

McCollough says she’s will to fight the city to keep her artwork up.