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Friday, December 2, 2011

Seen Today in PDX: Mysterious Toynbee Tile

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Reader Bryan sent us a photo this morning of a strange tile installed in the sidewalk at SE 7th and Hawthorne.


The marker is part of a mysterious cultural phenomena called the the Toynbee Tiles. No one's sure who created or started installing the tiles, but they've popped up in many US and South American cities over the past three decades. They have cryptic messages about killing journalists, resurrecting the dead, science, and philosophy. It seems that some of the tiles are installed by copycat artists, imitating the style of whoever started installing them originally.

The tiles were recently the subject of a documentary film, which looks rather spooky.

I've got no idea when the tile showed up on SE Hawthorne—has anyone else seen it? This is the first I've heard of it.

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