Nude mural to be painted over

A southeast Atlanta mural depicting a woman in various states of undress will be covered up.

“[The media] had a knee-jerk reaction to a couple of negative voices,” said Nathan Bolster, executive director of operations for the nonprofit Living Walls Conference, which commissioned the painting by Spanish artist Hyuro. She completed the work , on a decaying concrete wall at the intersection of McDonough Boulevard and Sawtell Avenue, nearly two weeks ago.

By next Monday, the wall will bare of any art.

“White, tan or gray [paint],” said Bolster when asked what will replace the mural, located on the border of the old Lakewood GM plant, across the street from the federal penitentiary.

The move was initiated by the property owner, Sawtell Development Partners, which had grown weary of the controversy. The final straw, according to Bolster, came over the weekend when someone defaced the mural, applying black masking tape over “sensitive areas.”

Tajiddin Muwwakkil, the imam at the neighboring Masjid Al-Quaran, led the charge against the painting, calling it “pornographic and offensive.” However, the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, which sits directly across from the mural on McDonough, never made a public statement against it.

Camille Russell Love, director of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that her office had received mostly positive feedback concerning the mural.

Though the city was caught off guard by Hyuro’s work — which differed from plans submitted by Living Walls — they remained supportive of the finished product, Bolster said.

“It’s disappointing, because everyone I’ve talked in the neighborhood said they want something there instead of a blank wall,” he said, adding it’ll likely be removed by Saturday.

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