Tucker June 26, 2019 Updated: June 26, 2019 3:57 p.m.
San Francisco school board unanimously voted Tuesday to
destroy a controversial school mural featuring slaves and
a dead Native American, saying the removal equates to
necessary reparations for historic wrongs. …
might be art and it can also be racist; it can be both,”
said board member Alison Collins. “It’s not just about
removing them from public view, it’s also about righting a
over the mural would cost at least $600,000, with the
majority of the cost in producing an environmental impact
people wonder why California can’t build high-speed rail …
In addition, supporters of the mural have vowed to sue if
the board voted to destroy it and legal costs could add to
the cost, district officials said.
options included covering the mural with panels, which
would cost up to $825,000, or obscuring it with curtains,
which would have cost up to $375,000.
can cover it with curtains for the low, low, lowest bid
price of $374,000. San Francisco, call me!
Supporters argued the historic work, painted by Russian
emigre Victor Arnautoff, is an important piece of art that
is actually critical of oppression and imperialism and
that destroying it or covering it equates to book burning.
was a Communist
Party USA member. He led an eventful life. The son of
an Orthodox priest in Russia, he became a White Russian
cavalry officer, then the cavalry colonel for a Chinese
warlord. In Mexico, he became the assistant to the famous
Stalinist painter Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo’s husband. He
moved to San Francisco and was hired to paint Rivera-like
murals by the New Deal Works Progress Administration. During
the McCarthy Era, Republicans tried to get him fired from
Stanford, but the university didn’t heed them. In the early
1960s, he retired from teaching art at Stanford and moved to
the Soviet Union, where he died in Leningrad in 1979.
Critics, including students and community groups, called
for the 1,600-square-foot mural to be painted over with
in 2029, San Francisco will pay $3.75 million to paint over
the white paint with anti-racist beige paint.