BIG SUR (AP) — Authorities in California are searching for whoever painted giant graffiti along Highway 1 attacking the impact of tourism on Big Sur, the scenic stretch of rugged coast that is a major destination for visitors.

The California Highway Patrol was informed around noon on July 14 the words “OVERTOURISM IS KILLING BIG SUR” were written in gold paint near iconic Bixby Bridge.

A banner with the same message was hung on the bridge July 6. The group who hung the sign told KRON-TV they were not behind the graffiti vandalism.

According to the Monterey Herald, workers removed the paint Wednesday morning. The California Department of Transportation says the labor and materials used in removing the paint will cost the state $1,700.

The Highway Patrol says those responsible will face felony charges.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

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