A mural of former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo that has stood in the Italian Market for nearly 25 years is coming down, too.
The South 9th Street Shopping District, property owners, and the Philadelphia Mural Arts program are working to create a new mural that “better represents” the fabric of the community, the United Merchants of the South 9th Street Business Association said in a statement.
Due to rain in the forecast again Thursday, the Rizzo mural will become “a blank canvas” as soon as possible, the statement said. It will ultimately be replaced by a new mural.
“We agree it is time to replace this long-standing piece of art to begin to heal the Black community, the LGBTQ community and many others,” the Italian Market added.
The statue of Rizzo, which stood at Thomas Paine Plaza in front of the Municipal Services Building, was taken away and put into storage early Wednesday morning. The sculpture of the mayor, known for his aggressive treatment of black communities in Philadelphia, had loomed over Thomas Paine Plaza since 1999.