Community devastated by destruction of mural by unaware developer

Advocates are taking the issue to the city

Cherri Gregg
August 12, 2018 - 3:36 pm
Located at 20th and Tasker streets sat a mural that listed the names of children lost to violence.

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson/ Facebook

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A recent dust-up over the destruction of a beloved mural in South Philadelphia highlights a growing problem: How do you preserve public art that stands in the way of development?

Located at 20th and Tasker streets sat a mural that listed the names of children lost to violence. Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, helped paint it back in the late 1980s upon the request of then Mayor Wilson Goode.

"It was a very, very old building. It had been abandoned. There were structural complications. I understand all that — but the heart and soul of this mural, it was incredibly important," she recalled.

Golden says Mural Arts restored the mural a few years ago at the request of the community, as it was "beloved over the years." So when residents learned it was destroyed mistakenly by a developer, the incident went viral on social media.

"It blew up — I mean, it was everywhere," she said. 

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and others stepped into help.

Golden said the developer has promised to work to make it right, but the issue is bigger than that, and advocates will be asking the city for change.

"There just has to be a way we have better communication," she added.

For the full story, listen to Flashpoint Extra below. 

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