The Grain Belt bottle cap sign in downtown Minneapolis is a historic part of the city. For over 70 years it has represented the beer, but in recent decades it has become somewhat of a problem for the Eastman family, who owns the property.
According to the Star Tribune, the city of Minneapolis has ordered the Daphne R. Eastman Family Trust to remove graffiti from the sign at least nine times in the past five years under a policy which states that all graffiti must be removed within seven days of occurrence.
This policy only hurts the property owners, since they are the people who have to pay for the removal.
According to Minneapolis's Solid Waste Director Susan Young, the city already spends $1 million on graffiti removal. "We can't afford as a city to remove all graffiti at no charge to the property owner," she said.
The real trouble with the sign started in 2006. The Star Tribune reported that the sign was vandalized three times that year. Winthrop Eastman removed the graffiti twice but the third time he left the art up for months until the city took care of it.
His most recent bill totaled $630 after the city painted over new graffiti on March 18.
While the Eastman family still owns the signs, a article from Minnesota Public Radio in 2009 stated that they were willing to sell it to somebody who would take care of reparations.