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Cal Trans Sued for Mural Destruction ~ 101 Freeway


LA Now alerts us that:

Frank Romero, a noted muralist and pioneering Chicano painter, is suing Caltrans for painting over a mural he created along the Hollywood Freeway downtown in conjunction with the 1984 Olympics.

Last year, muralist Kent Twitchell won a $1.1-million settlement against the U.S. government and others for painting over his portrait of fellow artist Ed Ruscha on a federally owned building in downtown L.A.

Romero's suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that sometime after June 1, 2007, a Caltrans work crew painted over his 102-foot-long, 20-foot-high mural, "Going to the Olympics," erasing it from a wall at Alameda Street. The episode took place, the suit says, without Romero having been given the advance notice required under a 1980 state law protecting artists' "moral rights." The notice provides 90 days for the artist to save or relocate works of public art before a building's owner can have them removed.

Romero actually repainted the mural in 2003 after it had been tagged following years of poor maintenance. CalTrans has never been known for discriminating taste in art, it appears in this case they went too far and have a legal responsibility to both restore the mural and perhaps pay restitution to the artist.

Photo Credit: Mister Goleta

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