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Restoration project on Cincinnati’s ‘Black Lives Matter!’ mural begins

Published: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:02 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Artists were out Saturday with brushes and rollers to restore Cincinnati’s ‘Black Lives Matter!’ mural outside City Hall.

Plum Street, between 8th and 9th streets, will close through June 21 so artists can fix faded letters and vandalism that has occurred on the mural during its one year of existence.

“We didn’t know the paint would fade that quick, especially with the cars running over it,” Alandes Powell, former Urban League board chair and mural coordinator, said. “The restoration will fix the splashes. The city also needed to put down white lines for the traffic direction, so there is some painting we need to do around that as well.”

The major addition this year is a clear overlay that hopefully protects the mural for the future.

“We worked with the city and the department of transportation to do research with other murals,” Powell said. “There is not a perfect solution, but we have worked to come up with the right paint and the right overlay. We are hoping that will make it, so you won’t have to touch it up for another two years.”

The restoration project was privately funded last year, but this year the $118,000 will come from the city.

Powell says 70 to 80 percent of that money will go towards the artists.

“I think [the city] felt like they should pay to restore it and put an overlay because the community stepped up and said they wanted it,” Powell said.

The project is being done under the non-profit Black Art Speaks.

There are 17 lead artists, one for each letter and the exclamation point. Powell says some of the letter designs will change completely.

Work will last through Tuesday evening.

The protective overlay will be put on Wednesday and will dry before a re-dedication ceremony on June 18 at 3 p.m.

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