DeKalb’s Tupac statue disappeared. Now a new one is finally coming.

12:19 p.m Wednesday, April 12, 2017 DeKalb County
Richard Halicks / rhalicks@ajc.com
In this file photo, a life-size bronze statue of Tupac Shakur presides over the "Peace Garden" at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain. The statue left after the center closed.

For years, Tupac Shakur loomed life-size and life-like, even after death, at the arts center his mother built in his name in Stone Mountain. 

But the bronze statue left sometime around late December 2015 after the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts was sold. Now a new statue is in the works, thanks to a redevelopment of the property.

Artist Nijel Binns confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he’s been commissioned to immortalize the legendary West Coast rapper and actor. 

“We are honored to be commissioned to create what we expect will be ‘the’ defining bronze portrait sculpture of Tupac Shaker for the Peace Garden and Amphitheater,” he said in an email.

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The Stone Mountain arts center opened in 2005, a project of Afeni Shakur, the musician’s mother, a part-time Atlantan. It had a dance studio and classes for kids and was a passion project for her.

Afeni Shakur died last year.

Jim Burnett bought the center for $600,000, according to Rolling Stone. The magazine reported last year that he intended to redevelop it to include office suits, an indoor play center called Jumps R Us and a water park.

"It works in perfect conjunction with what Afeni was doing with the kids," Burnett told Rolling Stone. "We're not going to allow the Shakur name to die."

The monument is expected to be unveiled in September, around the 21st anniversary of Shakur’s shooting death in Las Vegas, Binns said.

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