WBTW reported: Mayor Wukela said that the Black Lives Matter mural painted in Florence will be removed.
According to the mayor, the city had authorized a temporary mural to be painted with biodegradable paint that would wash away after an average rain cycle. However, despite agreeing to the city’s terms, the organization responsible for painting the mural instead used permanent paint.
Activist group Action Together Pee Dee leader Suzanne La Rochelle said, “It was bliss. The Black community was feeling heard, understood, respected, and now you want to slap them in the face and remove this.”
“It was approved by our city council,” Christopher McCray said. “Not only was it approved, but it was supported as we had council members out here who painted on this pavement themselves.”
“I love that mural,” Pat Gibson-Hye Moore added. “It tells a story. There was a lot of work and time put into it… because I went out there that Saturday, and I went out there that Monday. It’s just regrettable that there’s so much hate in this city, this state, this country, that this has to be an issue.”
The mural has already been defaced and vandalized with racist messages, but due to the organizer using permanent paint, the mural will soon be removed, said the mayor.
“I am deeply disturbed by the racially motivated vandalism of this piece of art,” Wukela said. “I am also disappointed in the organizer’s failure to comply with the terms of the authorization for which they applied.”
The city also announced that it would no longer authorize permits for temporary or permanent painting on city streets.