Boston's art chief says the Roxbury Love/Mandela mural taken down yesterday to make way for a new affordable apartment complex on Warren Street will be repainted in Roxbury - using $8,000 set aside by the developer.
In a statement today, Kara Elliott-Ortega, chief of arts and culture, said:
The iconic ‘Roxbury Love’ mural has been a source of pride and inspiration for residents in Roxbury and across the city, and we recognize the immense embrace it has received from the community over the years, demonstrating the power of public art.
The much needed development project for the site will bring nearly 100 income-restricted homes to Warren Street, and a new Cruz headquarters. As part of the approval process, the artwork will be recommissed to a new location.
The mural went up in 2014. In 2016, the BPDA approved plans by the Cruz Development Co. of Roxbury to build a 99-unit apartment complex, with about half the units set aside for senior citizens, in 2016, with a condition the company spend $8,000 for public art.
The city is still looking for a location on which to recreate the mural. But company president John Cruz said today:
As a Black-owned business with approximately 75 employees, of which 95% are people of color, I have always strived to give back to my community. That is why I took steps three years ago to incorporate this mural as part of the redevelopment of this dilapidated site. In fact, this site was in such disarray that the roof had collapsed into the basement; the building was uninhabitable. I signed a cooperation agreement with the City to provide mitigation for this mural and establish an $8,000 budget. Moreover, I met and have had discussions with the original artist about replicating the artwork and incorporating elements of it into the building. ...
We are committed to incorporating this mural into the design of this development. We are committed, as we always have been, to working with our community.