Palma’s powers that be had to act quickly to cover up embarrassing graffiti which appeared overnight in the city’s old town.
A number of barbed insults aimed specifically at tourists have courted unwelcome headlines, sparking concern among residents and businesses.
The question lingers as to whether the sentiments are reflective of a broader undercurrent of anger, or are simply the sullen scrawls of phantom vandals.
‘Tourists are terrorists’ was perhaps the most provocative of the spray painted declarations, which also included ‘Tourist go home, refugees welcome,’ ‘Guiris go home,’ and ‘Tourism destroys the city.’
Etched in English and Spanish, they appear designed to provoke maximum attention, but it is important to note that similar graffiti arose in Venice and Florence in 2008.
A spokesman for local residents has issued a call for the city to address the vandalism problem before the imminent arrival of 26.4 million tourists expected to sweep across the city until October, with a plane landing every two minutes on average.
The resident’s association of La Seu has distanced itself from the invective but notes that people rely on local authorities not to allow tourism to saturate their neighbourhood beyond all recognition.
Whoever the culprits, and whatever the seriousness of their intent, there is clearly a fine balancing act to be performed in Mallorca to harmonise the interests of local residents and businesses with the huge income provided by the tourist industry.