VICTORIA -- A wall of tribute murals for COVID-19 leaders and B.C. health-care pioneers in downtown Victoria will be restored after being defaced, according to Victoria councillor Charlayne Thorton-Joe.

Early this month, the murals were covered with graffiti and offensive remarks.

Colourful drawings of B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Sign Language expert Nigel Howard, National Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and tributes to unknown nurses were all vandalized.

Coun. Charlayne Thorton-Joe says a group of warm-hearted Victorians have since donated several hundred dollars to pay for new supplies for artist Ian Morris to restore the murals.

Morris, who is a well-known chalk artist in Victoria, originally drew the COVID-19 hero tributes in May.

Unfortunately, the murals have been the target of several graffiti attacks since they were first painted.

Undeterred by the acts of vandalism, Thorton-Joe and Morris say they will restore some of the pieces and add new works of art as well.

Thorton-Joe says they are currently waiting for the wood to completely dry before work begins again.

The murals are located on Government between Pandora Avenue and Johnson Street

They are painted on a temporary wooden wall that surrounds where the former Plaza Hotel stood before a massive fire burned it to the ground.