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“Hands Mural” on Allen Street Replaced with Diet Coke Ad
True murals for the community (i.e. free from corporate clutches) are becoming a rarity these days. So many are destroyed and replaced with transient advertising. For instance, we’ve seen the “Spay/Neuter” succumb to whitewashing, and John Lennon’s Imagine disappear from Avenue B. At least Chico remains fairly prolific around the Lower East Side, despite living in Florida. But now another piece of neighborhood artwork has been covered, courtesy of Diet Coke and Starbucks.
Sometime yesterday, a new adhesive advert was applied to the Allen Street facade of Starbucks, effectively destroying the longstanding “hands mural.” This Diet Coke vinyl is pasted directly atop the old artwork, and even though paint wasn’t utilized in the cover-up, there’s still a good chance the mural will carry scars upon removal.
The artwork itself, a joint effort between the Henry Street School for International Studies and One World Now!, had recently become a renewed target for vandals. Before the corporate takeover, the positive message read:
We made the mural by first looking at the quote. We decided to look at it from a women’s point of view. This is because women had little voice in the making of this world. We wanted a global theme so we made a picture for the local community. We wanted to add symbols of womanhood so we added female hands holding the earth. We did this so the harsh picture of the city would be contrasted with the soft hands of a woman. We hope that our mural shows how women will be involved in reshaping the world.