A major debate in Portsmouth as of late has been the disappearance of the beloved downtown “Whale Wall.” And now, a Portsmouth City Councilman has come forward to set a few things straight about the wall’s demise, as well as some contributing factors on the part of locals that didn’t help the daunting task of keeping the mural in-tact.

“(Robert) Wyland came and he did a great mural, everybody loved it,” said Rich Blalock, who can also be seen running things at Tom Bergeron’s favorite local haunt, Old Ferry Landing. “But then he forgot to put on the final coat that would protect it.”

According to Blalock, the artist then sent the protective coating to Portsmouth officials to apply. Without proper training, the process ultimately failed, leading to the mural’s “cloudy” appearance as the years went on. Wyland ultimately returned to help out directly, but it was too late.

However, according to Blalock, that wasn’t the only problem. The mural was soon defaced, with vandals adding what the Councilman calls a few “extra parts” to the whales featured in the mural. “Some more anatomy,” he adds. “A more scientific view of it…”

When the building fronting the mural was demolished, it was determined the whales – and all their added “parts” – weren’t worth saving. Still, it’s remained a hot topic, with residents taking to social media to debate ways to revive the Whale Wall (and what they think happened to it).

But good news! If you have suggestions for new Whale Wall locations, Portsmouth is seeking your input for its new Cultural Plan.

And to hear Councilman Blalock’s suggestions for new Whale Walls, check out my full interview (and hear Bergeron reminisce about his Portsmouth days) by LISTENING HERE.

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