Mavi Jeans Store Paints Over 'Quirky' Park Slope Mural

By Leslie Albrecht on August 5, 2013 8:04am 

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 The new store on Union Street and Fifth Avenue painted over the "Who's Your Uncle" mural.
New Mavi Jeans Store Paints over Park Slope Mural
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PARK SLOPE — A new denim store moving to the neighborhood has given the faded wash treatment to a piece of street art.

Mavi Jeans, which is opening a denim boutique later this month on Fifth Avenue and Union Street, erased a prominent mural on its building with a coating of chocolate-brown paint this week, Park Slope Stoop first reported.

The oddball mural depicted a stern-looking bald eagle on an American flag, emblazoned with the query, "Who's Your Uncle?" Next to it was the entire text of the life-affirming 1927 poem "Desiderata."

Mavi is combining two storefronts into one 2,400 square foot shop. The mural was removed because "during the renovation, it was decided to restore the building to its original facade to match the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood," a spokeswoman for Mavi said in an email.

Some nearby street benches — where customers of neighboring Uncle Louie G's Italian ice shop would often sit — were removed too. The benches will be returned, pending approval of the building owner and city, the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman added, "Mavi is extremely excited to be moving into Brooklyn and is looking forward to being part of a close knit community."

It's not known exactly how long the mural has been there. The building owner did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mark Caserta, executive director of the Fifth Avenue BID, said the street art had been around since at least 2001.

The patriotic painting's disappearance angered some of Mavi's potential customers. "Not a good intro to #parkslope," Tweeted @KarenBrklyn.

"What a few days ago was a scrappy and heartfelt gift to the neighborhood by talented and thoughtful artists has been reduced to a bare brown wall," lamented local blog Here's Park Slope.

An enraged @SNBalzac vented on Twitter, "You jerks destroyed a classic Park Slope neighborhood quirk! You will not get my business EVER! Get out of my 'hood!"

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