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Girl Scouts to Paint Mural on Former Site of NYPD 'Murderers' Art

By Nigel Chiwaya | June 2, 2014 3:37pm
  Girl Scout Troop 3210 wants to paint an inclusive mural on a wall with a since-removed mural that called the NYPD "murderers."
Girl Scouts Eye Inwood Mural
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INWOOD — A wall that once hosted a controversial mural that referred to NYPD officers as "murderers" will soon have a replacement mural made by the Girl Scouts.

Troop 3210 plans to paint a mural later this summer of a large tree onto the wall of New Edition Cleaners at 4979 Broadway, near Isham Alley, pending final approval from the landlord. 

Girl Scout Alyssa Fermin helped design the new mural by drawing a massive tree for the wall with leaves that include the words "strong" and "smart." The mural will also include the words "you are" in English, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, Russian and Greek to be as inclusive as possible, organizers said.

"We want to welcome people of all different types," said Fermin, 12.

The wall had been a source of controversy in 2012, when NYPD officers painted over artist Alan Ket's mural that depicted a series of tombstones adorned with logos for the NYPD, McDonald's, Halliburton and other major brands and calling them "murderers." Police said they had gotten complaints about the earlier mural's "violent" message.

The removal of the previous art outraged several residents, and an anti-censorship message was scrawled on the wall less than two weeks later. The wall has been spotted with graffiti since then, becoming what Girl Scout Daniela Lebron called "a dark mark" on the community.

The scouts hope the new mural will help bring the community in a more positive direction.

"We got the idea that by having a tree, it will show what type of community we are, and it will bring in nice ideas," Fermin said.

The scouts have worked for more than a year to get the new mural in place, troop leader Helena Judd said. They interviewed residents about what they wanted, consulted with Community 12 and the 34th Precinct Community Council and met with building landlord Victor Gorodischer, Judd said.

Gorodischer did not return calls for comment.

The troop is fundraising for paint and aiming to create the art in August, Judd said.

"Everyone seems excited to see something on the wall," she said.