Graffiti, a so-called “mural iconostasis,” in honor of George Floyd painted on the wall of a bar in Toledo, Ohio, worshipped by members of the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, is destroyed, reports WTVG, an ABC affiliate TV channel.
— Shaun Hegarty (@Shaun_Hegarty) July 13, 2021
According to Toledo police, who cite witnesses, the “memorial” was destroyed by a lightning strike.The local TV station’s radar did show a lightning strike in the area around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but conflicting reports emerged about what may have caused the destruction of the memorial in honor of Floyd, who was killed last May 25.
Hugh Coogan, the city’s building inspector, told the Toledo Blade news portal that the collapse was the result of natural wear and tear, and he had recently noticed a bend in the wall where the pattern had been.
Toledo police were spotted outside the building that used to house the Mugshots bar, the officers were placing tape around the pile of bricks that once made up this “work of art.” The graffiti was painted nearly a year before the wall collapsed, in July 2020. African-American groups held memorial services for Floyd in front of the drawing, including on the anniversary of his death. The building itself is structurally sound, according to the city of Toledo’s building inspector. The building owner was removing bricks and decided to remove the rest of the wall painting.
The city of Toledo, a predominantly black community, has already issued a statement about the collapse, saying authorities will work with the art commission to plan a “new mural” or help the commission and the artist find a new location for the painting, adding that they were heartbroken to “see an extremely saddened” artist, David Ross.