Mural uproar teaches LAUSD a lesson: Artists have a moral right against censorship
Fine Art

Mural uproar teaches LAUSD a lesson: Artists have a moral right against censorship

LAUSD has postponed its plan to paint over a mural at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times) LAUSD stepped back on Monday from its plan to censor a mural at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools on the Koreatown site of the old Ambassador Hotel. The district stated no specific cause for the reversal, but it took a small step in the right direction. The raging censorship controversy around the painting could not help but bring to mind the federal Visual Artists Rights Act, enacted by Congress in 1990. That law responds to the defacement, mutilation or destruction of works of art. For the first time in U.S. history, federal law recognized an artist’s moral rights. In a stunning irony, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the slain presidential candidate for whom the Koreatown school is named, introduced the law to Congress. The imperiled mural, painted without incident more than two years ago, depicts actress Ava Gardner with symbols of the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub once the epicenter of the Ambassador complex. Protesters mischaracterized the 44 blue and red rays in the portrait’s background as the Japanese imperial battle flag — a banner that […]

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Mural uproar teaches LAUSD a lesson: Artists have a moral right against censorship
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Mural uproar teaches LAUSD a lesson: Artists have a moral right against censorship

LAUSD has postponed its plan to paint over a mural at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times) LAUSD stepped back on Monday from its plan to censor a mural at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools on the Koreatown site of the old Ambassador Hotel. The district stated no specific cause for the reversal, but it took a small step in the right direction. The raging censorship controversy around the painting could not help but bring to mind the federal Visual Artists Rights Act, enacted by Congress in 1990. That law responds to the defacement, mutilation or destruction of works of art. For the first time in U.S. history, federal law recognized an artist’s moral rights. In a stunning irony, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the slain presidential candidate for whom the Koreatown school is named, introduced the law to Congress. The imperiled mural, painted without incident more than two years ago, depicts actress Ava Gardner with symbols of the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub once the epicenter of the Ambassador complex. Protesters mischaracterized the 44 blue and red rays in the portrait’s background as the Japanese imperial battle flag — a banner that […]