There is plenty of evidence that people painted or etched graffiti in Ancient Rome.

I was curious whether and how the authorities removed the graffiti, did they paint over it or wash it off (and presumably paint back the original color)?

Especially with the etches, I can't imagine that would have been easy to remove. I couldn't find any sources in my search though I might not have been looking thorough enough.

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    What makes you think they removed the graffiti? – Semaphore Dec 21 '17 at 10:26
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    Obligatory Monty Python reference.... – Spencer Dec 21 '17 at 11:33
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    @JamesCook Yes, surely repainting has been carried out since the invention of painting buildings. I think these were usually private, e.g. by the owners, though. So I am wondering if there's evidence of the government systematically trying to remove graffiti, whether by painting or otherwise. – Semaphore Dec 21 '17 at 12:31
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    @Semaphore There doesn't seem to be a systematic effort by the government to remove graffiti, but there was political propaganda (for the elections) and ads for gladiatorial shows that could be painted over existing inscriptions. So, in a sense, people connected to the government could erase some graffiti in order to paint other things over them, even though in a more general sense the government didn't care about graffiti. – James Cook Dec 21 '17 at 14:22
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    @StevenBurnap I think they would have. They already had been complaining that the youth was getting worse generation by generation. – jjack Dec 22 '17 at 20:36

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