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Yanqui Whitewash

January 07, 1990

I'd be pleasantly surprised if Senor Professor (Raymund A.) Paredes could . . . utter a disinterested word about the tired whipping boys "Yanqui imperialistas." He seems to have made something of a career of Mexicanismo.

With due respect for his expertise on Mexican and Chicano culture, there is one flaw . . . in his review of Laurance Hurlburt's "The Mexican Muralists in the United States" (Book Review, Nov. 26). He tells us that Siquieros' Olvera Street mural was "eventually covered with whitewash," apparently as a Yankee response to Siquieros' revolutionary message,

For years I frequented Olvera Street (as far back as the '30s, when Leo Politi was copying Rivera's mural on canvas), and I can confidently say that it was benign neglect rather than vicious U.S. imperialism that brought an end to Siquieros' mural.

It eventually may indeed have been whitewashed, but for many years--even as late as the '50s--one could still see traces of the mural before it faded completely.

SAM BLUEFARB

DIAMOND BAR

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