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Venice | Community News File

Panel Votes to Remove Controversial Image on Graffiti Pit Mural

September 05, 1997

A segment of a new mural at the Venice Graffiti Pit that depicts a pig in a police officer's uniform was hidden from public view Thursday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department said.

The Recreation and Parks Commission decided Wednesday to cover up the controversial depiction, which forms part of the "City of Angels"-themed mural near the Venice Pavilion, said department spokesman Lee Nichols.

The artwork was created during a daylong paint-in organized by the Social Public Art Resource Center on Aug. 16.

Some community members have criticized the pig-as-officer segment as demeaning to the LAPD, while others say the artist--an art student who goes by the name Xpress--has a 1stAmendment right.

Nichols said the Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners voted to remove the image, which they say was "unauthorized."

SPARC's artistic director, Judy Baca, said all the artist's designs were approved by the center and Recreation and Parks staff. She called the action by the commission censorship.

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