After seeing the iconic “Be Someone” sign painted over several times, the state is working toward putting an end to it.

The artist who more recently altered the sign to say “NO WAR KNOW PEACE,” now faces a felony charge, charging documents say.

Last year, an artist painted over the unofficial Houston landmark, which was first painted over Interstate 45 in 2012. In February, the state filed a charge against 27-year-old Chandrika Metivier for painting over the sign multiple times.

The state claims the artist altered the sign to say: “WOMANLIFEFREEDOM,” and the current message, “NO WAR KNOW PEACE.”

Metivier is accused of knowingly painting the steel rail bridge owned by Union Pacific Railroad. They admitted to painting the bridge in an interview with the Chronicle in March 2022.

This charge could be the end of artists being able to paint over the popular sign.

“Union Pacific cannot look the other way when safety is on the line. Artists who trespass on bridges to “tag” a message – whether a positive or negative message – risk both their life and the lives of innocent motorists, pedestrians and others traveling below. We urge everyone for their safety and the safety of our employees and the public to stay off railroad property,” a Union Pacific spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle.

Metivier has not commented on the lawsuit.

Documents say Metivier admitted on a podcast interview that they painted the most recent message on the bridge to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In 2018, a Houston man even fought to get city hall to protect the graffiti by creating a petition on the Change website. The petition reached over 13,000 signatures, but it failed to become an official landmark.

Painting over the “Be Someone” sign means hanging from Interstate 45 and painting as vehicles pass below. The charging document notes anybody who attempts to alter the sign would, “interfere with the safe, efficient, and normal operations of the railroad and would pose an unwarranted liability to the property owner and violator.”

It also states that it would have to close a portion of Interstate 45 to repaint the bridge, which would likely cost over $30,000 and cause major traffic congestion.

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