By Howard Packowitz
NORMAL – The artists, who sued the Town of Normal and a building developer to protect the mural they painted at Uptown Circle, should welcome and support the town’s plans to spare the artwork from demolition. That’s the town government’s position in court papers filed in Peoria federal court prior to a scheduled court hearing on Monday.
The town revealed in the court document plans to move the mural to another site at a cost to taxpayers of about $100,000.
Artists painted the mural in 2011 on an exterior wall of the two-story building at 104 East Beaufort St., which is almost 120 years old. That building and two others on Beaufort Street are slated for demoltion to make way for the $30 million Trail East project.
The 13 artists are asking for a temporary restraining order preventing the town from destroying or altering the mural.
The town government argued a portion of federal copyright law known as the Visual Artists Rights Act does not grant artists the right to dictate the mural’s location or how it’s displayed.
The government contended there would be substantial hardship if Trail East is not built because the project would bring more than 300 jobs to Uptown, and employers have already signed letters of intent to relocate their businesses to Trail East.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org