Numbers can be hard. Dyscalculia is real, folks! And using Roman numerals can be even trickier. However, when one (or seven, depending on how you’re counting) is attempting to leave one’s proverbial, nay, literal, mark on an internationally-recognized icon, one may wish to double-check one’s work.
Last night, a group of seven adults were arrested after being caught spray-painting “35th Crew” and various tags on Chicago’s famous “Bean” sculpture in Grant Park. White spray paint also defaced the Cancer Survivors’ Garden in nearby Maggie Daley Park a bit further south.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) July 2, 2019
The taggers seem to be under the impression that the Roman numerals III and V, set next to each other, indicate 35. Alas, they are incorrect! While one might quibble that the two sets of numbers are not directly connected, and also that the arrangement of numbers is incorrect anyway, it really, really looks like they get…
According to the bare-bones basics of how Roman numerals are ordered, where lower numbers set before higher numbers are subtracted from the higher number, IIIV would be equal to two.
“Well, I can’t figure out just TWO!” – Mr. Turkentine
By the time of this morning’s commute the Bean was already being scrubbed, and the Chicago Park District has since told multiple news outlets that the walls and benches in the Cancer Survivors’ Garden have been cleaned as well.
Local news station WGN made a valiant attempt to blur, block, or otherwise obscure the graffiti in its broadcast coverage, possibly to avoid spreading either its message or the taggers’ notoriety. The vandals themselves also had their faces blurred as they were arrested, and they hurled insults and profanities at television crews filming as they were escorted away.
I mean, I’d be pretty ticked off when I realized my compatriots misinterpreted our organization’s name in another language, too.