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Siqueiros Mural Will Return

10:27 AM PDT on August 3, 2006

America Tropical

Los Angeles loses two artworks, but regains a mural. The Getty Center and the City of Los Angeles have announced plans to resore the historic, controversial, white-washed mural by master Mexican Muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, America Tropical. The mural is one of three Siquerios painted in Los Angeles and one of two which remain here, as one which was painted at a private home in Pacific Palisades was moved to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. According to

Siqueiros’ allegorical depiction of the struggle against imperialism wasn’t a comfortable topic for the Downtown L.A. business and political establishment. It was also an uncomfortable topic for societal matron Christine Sterling, Olvera Street’s leading promoter, possibly because it did not conform to her image of Olvera Street as a docile and tranquil Mexican village. Unfortunately for the artists, the conservative politics of the era triumphed over artistic expression, and within six months a section of the mural visible from Olvera Street was painted out. Within a year, the work was completely covered.

The rebirth of this mural will be a great thing for public art in the city, and for Olvera Street in particular.

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