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Some jackwagon painted over a Roberto Clemente mural

Feb 13, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT


This is why we can’t have nice things, people. Literally:

A mural honoring Puerto Rican baseball icon Roberto Clemente has been painted over, destroying what was a source of pride for Little Leaguers and parents at a rebounding Azalea Park Elementary School ball field.

Earl Lugo has coached there and wanted youngsters from his working-class neighborhood to know the Hall of Famer who died in a 1972 plane crash while delivering aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. Lugo sponsored a childhood friend and noted New York City muralist to craft the mural in 2011.

On Wednesday morning, it was painted over.

There are before and after pictures in the story. What a damn shame.

  1. sandwiches4ever - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Why would someone do that? That was a damn fine mural.

    • Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Why would someone kill a young giraffe when another zoo said they’d take him? The occurrence of monumental, soulless assholes in the world hasn’t surprised me for a long, long, long time.

      • schlom - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Outstanding comment – those two things are nearly identical!

      • Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        The point was that there are all kinds of assholes out there. You have handsomely confirmed it with your idiot snark – which also confirms what’s always been obvious: that you were too dense to connect the ends of a pretty obvious allegory.

      • schlom - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Those two things aren’t even remotely the same. There were perfectly good reasons to kill the giraffe – just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t make wrong. The same couldn’t be said for painting over the mural – it seems as though whoever painted it over had no right to do it.

        I think the word you are looking for instead of allegory is hyperbole.

      • Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Fine, hyperbole if you wish – a traditional and critical element in parody and satire. Fact remains though that you were still too dense to make the connection between the hyperbole and its reference, or, if I were kinder, sententious enough to use it as an excuse for gratuitous snark.

  2. twenty1miles - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM


    • Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:40 PM


      • historiophiliac - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        Keifer Sutherland in Pompeii!

      • mckludge - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM



  3. recoveringcubsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    There’s a silver lining here, potentially, which is that this is a great way to impart just how important it is to educate people about the truly great human beings in sports, like Clemente. The fact that this could happen shows there’s work to do yet. Those kids will never forget it, that’s for sure. The key is for them to go forth as ambassadors for generosity and spirit, the way Clemente did, and not to get bogged down in the idiocy of this one event.

    And repaint the damn mural. Jeez.

  4. Charles Gates - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    I had a good friend that wrote his Sr thesis on street art, aka graffiti. Painting over pictures happens all the time…a top of mind example is:
    Beloved California Flag Mural Deemed Graffiti, Painted Over

    • historiophiliac - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      I find it really tiresome that administrators, bureaucrats, and city employees/reps cannot tell the difference between vandalism and street art. And, also, that they seem to believe that concrete and dull-colored paint is preferable to the liveliness and creativity of graffiti. I know some of it is fear of free speech but some of it is just stupidity and hostility to art and thinking outside the box. My step-sister is a yarn bomber and it makes me sad when she and people like her make efforts to create beautiful things or things that make you re-think what you’re seeing and cities rush to remove it. It should be that they have to show good cause to remove it rather than that you have to give them good reason to keep it.

      • Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Yarn bomber? Qu’est ce que c’est ?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      • Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        Trez cool.

      • mckludge - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        Its a tough call in a lot of circumstances. I’m all for public art, the NEA, anything for improving our world’s aesthetic. But the bottom line is that many of them are modifying something which does not belong to them.

        Who gets to decide what “public art” stays or goes? For that matter, who gets to decide what is “art?” I know it is hyperbole, but what ‘s stop me from hurling cans of paint against a wall and calling it art, then bitching when it gets painted over? Some might say (not me) that is exactly what Jackson Pollack did on canvas.

      • cur'68 - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        It IS what Jackson Pollack did on canvas. That yarn bombing though. That’s actually very good. I’d want that in my city.

  5. cackalackyank - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Any reason given why?

  6. theageofquarrel - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM


  7. blabidibla - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Seems like a ripe opportunity for a young artist to recreate or create anew another mural. With this much community outrage, it should be easy to raise enough money for art supplies and even a nice stipend for the artist.

  8. steelhammer92 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    typical ghetto trash

    • dadawg77 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Read the article, it seems like some official didn’t like it or didn’t like someone and had it painted over.

  9. seanb20124 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Was it Banksy?

  10. mybrunoblog - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Yeah it sucks but it might actually work to unify the folks down there. Get a group together and have another mural painted.

  11. chinahand11 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Reminds me of the Surfing Madonna of Encinitas, which was also declared graffiti. Great story, it was taken down then resurrected on the side of a pizza joint across the street from its original location.

  12. hojo20 - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    It was painted 3 years ago, it’s not like it was painted in 1970 and Clemente was there for the unveiling. Get over it.

  13. roanboon - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    I expected to see a quick squiggled paint-over job, but it appears deliberately planned and carefully executed. Less like the work of a rebellious teenager who simply wanted to express his or her angst.

  14. mustang6984 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Death penalty seems appropriate.

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