Mural Paying Homage to Classic Hollywood to Be Painted Over After Protests From Korean Groups Who Find it Offensive
The giant image of Ava Gardner on the outer wall of a public school gym in Koreatown speaks to history. On that score, everyone agrees.
But what the artist intended as an homage to the Cocoanut Grove, which once stood nearby, Korean groups say is as offensive to them as a swastika would be to Jews or a burning cross to African Americans.
They don’t object to the movie star, who frequented the famed nightclub, or to the palm trees, monkey and Moorish arch superimposed on her profile to evoke the club’s exotic decor. At issue are the rays radiating out from her face, which they say look like those on the rising sun of the imperial Japanese battle flag used during World War II — when Japanese forces committed atrocities against Koreans and others.
The protests of the Wilshire Community Coalition — with its long list of local groups and scholars — have prompted the Los Angeles Unified School District to take assertive action. The district has agreed to paint over the mural at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex during winter break, said Roberto Martinez, the senior school district administrator for that region.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.