When I was in high school, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Rome, Italy. The highlight of the trip was touring the Vatican and experiencing the beautiful artwork of classical painter and sculptor, Michelangelo. His artwork is even more breathtaking in person, gracing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was handsomely paid to leave his artistic stamp in prominent places.

KATC reports that there's a Lafayette artist named "Ace" who has been gluing his work onto business signs and city property along Johnston Street. He's not being paid to do this and let's be frank: he's no Michelangelo. "Ace's" artwork features a mouse inside of an Ace of Spades playing card motif. A woman interviewed by KATC said she once worked with "Ace," and that he simply wants "people to appreciate art and not be angry about it." At least one local business owner is angry, however, since removal of the artwork damaged the business owner's sign, repairs to which have to be covered at his expense.

Lafayette Police aren't angry, but they have told KATC that "Ace's" work is criminal activity, classified as criminal damage to property. Such a crime can lead to a $1, 000 fine or jail time. Lafayette Police are asking anyone with info about "Ace" to call Crime Stoppers at 232-TIPS.

What do you think? Is this "free expression" justified, even if it breaks the law? Let us know what you think.

Image courtesy of KATC