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VOL. 11 | NO. 6 | Saturday, February 10, 2018

Paint Memphis Painted Over

By Bill Dries

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City public works crews painted over more murals on Lamar Avenue than they were supposed to this week as the controversy over the Paint Memphis murals surfaced again.

Earlier in the week, the Memphis city council pushed the administration for action on the murals, with council members calling for the city to paint over specific murals and images they considered graffiti.

Some of the murals done under contract with the city by the Paint Memphis program drew criticism from City Council members, as some had images of snakes and zombies.

During Tuesday, Feb. 6, City Council committee sessions, council members Joe Brown and Jamita Swearengen pressed for action on the murals.

“They are not doing a thing,” Brown complained. “I’m not going to go silent.”

By then, one of the murals had already been painted over.

But council chairman Berlin Boyd said the mural of a zombie-like figure that bore the brunt of the criticism from the council in January is on private property and city attorneys have said the artwork does not meet the legal definition of graffiti.

Public Works director Robert Knecht talked with Swearengen in the hallway later and she also pushed for the removal of the murals, including the one on private property.

Word of the new murals being painted over Friday brought an admission from the administration that there was “some miscommunication.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 92 242 2,507
MORTGAGES 108 336 2,943
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 37 527
BUILDING PERMITS 202 643 6,711
BANKRUPTCIES 43 176 1,963
BUSINESS LICENSES 50 130 1,289
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 19 77 707
MARRIAGE LICENSES 9 43 417