Frank Rizzo Mural Removed From Public Display Because of Racial Discourse

It was just one day after the statue of the former police commissioner and former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo was removed, after being vandalized for years. Rizzo’s mural is also being removed. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Organization decided, on Wednesday, that they are no longer interested in maintaining the mural. Constantly trying to maintain the vandalized art piece does not meet with the mural art commission’s mission. The art mural commission gave it a lot of considerable thought before deciding to decommission the Rizzo mural.

The 10 foot bronze statue of the mayor was removed after being erected more than 20 years ago. The statue, after being vandalized for years, was removed from its place of honor from across the City Hall building on the steps of the Municipal Services building.

The large mural stood at the corner of 9th and Montrose at the Italian Market in the southern part of Philadelphia. The mural is the most vandalized of all the public murals in the city. Rizzo’s mural stood at the Italian Market site since 1995, four years after the mayor’s death.

As a police commissioner and mayor, Rizzo had aggressive policing tactics that were especially targeted against the African Americans and LGBT communities. Frank Rizzo was the Philadelphia police commissioner from 1968 to 1971. Rizzo served two terms from 1972 to 1980 as mayor of Philadelphia. The mural only signifies the painful legacy and anger evoked by this man. The mural does not represent any healing properties, especially after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. Because the mural is on private property, the owner must authorize the removal. Rizzo was a controversial leader and a mixture of positive and negative traits.

Because of the death of a black man at the knee of a white police officer, it made matters worse for the Frank Rizzo mural. Rizzo was a reminder of such racial mistreatment in the black community. It made the mural even more of a target for anger. The owner of the Italian Market agrees that the mural needs to be replaced with something that reflects the meaning of 9th and Montrose.