02.22.2021

'It should be a beautiful place’: Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter mural is fading in winter

Local artists painted a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Cincinnati City Hall after civil rights protests swept through the nation last summer. The mural has since deteriorated.   |  Local artists painted a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Cincinnati City Hall after civil rights protests swept through the nation last summer. The mural has since deteriorated. | Photo by Albert Cesare / The Enquirer

In the aftermath of civil rights protests last summer that swept through the country, local artists painted a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Cincinnati City Hall.

Blessed by Cincinnati city officials and unveiled on Juneteenth amid singing, dancing, poetry and political speeches, the mural was an internet sensation. 

But once the fanfare died down, the downtown mural was left to rot. 

Street barriers protecting the mural were taken down the next day. A councilwoman stepped in to briefly put the barriers back.

Somebody dumped red paint on it one night. No one was arrested, and the paint stain remains.

Friday, as the Pan-African flag was raised outside City Hall for the first time, celebrated with a ceremony that drew people from Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus, the mural was a shadow of itself. 

It's coated in salt used to battle the snow and ice. Jagged cracks of asphalt peek through where the street has eroded. The red paint stain is a faded pink blur, marring a corner of the mural.

Read the full story at USA Today | News.