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Arts and Entertainment

City Wants to Give the Occupy LA Mural Back. You Want It?

Photo by Greg Lilly Photos via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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Any physical vestiges of the Occupy LA City Hall encampment are slowly fading, as the park has been cleared for over a month now and plans are underway to replace the lawn. But what of the giant mural that once stood in the center of the camp, painted in bold colors (and making a bold statement) on the plywood set up to protect the fountain? Well, the City is ready to give it back to...well, they aren't sure. But they don't want it anymore.

The mural in question is one that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hailed post-raid as being an important visual element and piece of local history.

The artwork illustrates the worldview of the Occupy protesters. An angry, greedy octopus crowned by the federal reserve bank uses its tentacles to reach out to take a cut of money from foreclosed homes. There are oil derricks and an industrial skyline belching fumes in a dystopian scene. The call to action is: "Take the power back."

"The mayor's office recognizes that this has historical significance so we're working together to make sure that we come up with a good and appropriate solution," said Olga Garay-English of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) in December.

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Now the DCA is done holding onto the wooden "structure" and has released a call for letters of interest for people to take ownership and potentially display the "Occupy LA artifacts."

Occupy LA posted the email from the City referring to the DCA's call:

From: Pat Gomez
Date: January 4, 2012 9:24:17 AM PST
Subject: [LACN] LA Cultural Affairs - Call for Letters of Interest for the Occupy LA artifacts
Call for Letters of Interest for the Exhibition, Maintenance, and Storage
of the Occupy LA Artifacts

The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) seeks to identify an organization
or organizations to take conditional possession of one or both wooden
structures used during the Occupy LA protests. The wooden enclosures were
erected by the City of Los Angeles during the recent Occupy LA protests and
occupation of the City Hall South Lawn.

During the Occupy LA encampment period on the South Lawn, two wooden
structures were built and erected by the City to surround and protect
monuments located within the area. These plywood enclosures immediately
became a canvas for paint, aerosol, and collage images
that convey the ideas and experience of the Occupy LA participants. These
wooden enclosures, therefore, became artifacts of the Occupy LA

The City of Los Angeles wishes to see that the Occupy LA Artifacts are
publicly displayed in the near future and protected for future audiences.

For details and the Call for Letters of Interest, see the full PDF on the
Cultural Affairs website:

The deadline is Monday, February 6th, 2012.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

City of Los Angeles
Department of Cultural Affairs
Public Art Division
201 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90012


"The mural belongs to all of us," writes Occupy LA on their site.

Any takers?

LAist Associate Editor Emma Gallegos contributed to this post.