The famed “gum wall” in Seattle, where tourists and residents have stuck used chewing gum for the past 20 years, has been cleaned by city authorities. The wall has long been covered by wads of gum in many colours, some stretched to make elaborate messages and designs.
Pictures, business cards and other mementos were also attached to an estimated 1,000kg of gum stuck to the wall. But now authorities have used powerful steam cleaners to clean the wall in the Pike Place Market.
A spokeswoman for the market, Emily Crawford, said despite the wall’s popularity, it was in urgent need of a clean. Zoe Freeman, who works near Pike Place, said: “The market is famous for the gum wall. But it also draws rats.” She added: “It’s an icon. It’s history.”
People began putting their used gum on the wall while waiting for shows at the nearby Market Theater two decades ago. It later spread beyond the wall and onto nearby pipes, and even the theatre’s box office window.