PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A renowned illustrator says it was inevitable a mural he designed as part of a project to reduce vandalism on Rhode Island highways was covered with graffiti.

He’s suggesting an interesting approach to dealing with the result: leaving some graffiti up.

David Macaulay’s mural was completed in June in Providence. It gives the illusion of a row of arches in front of a series of statues, as well as other elements.

The mural was covered with red graffiti, which the state is trying to clean up.

Macaulay tells The Providence Journal that getting rid of it might invite an endless fight with vandals.

He suggests an “edit” to remove graffiti from the space between the arches, leaving just the arches vandalized. He says it might actually add to his idea.