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Los Angeles MOCA Censors Street Artist's Commissioned Mural (VIDEO) [UPDATED]

First Posted: 12/10/10 06:18 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

This week has seen quite a whirlwind of censorship controversies. The protests at the Smithsonian have dominated the conversation, but yesterday Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art made its own censoring move. MOCA, newly headed by New York transplant Jeffrey Deitch, whitewashed a mural painted by internationally known street artist BLU. The mural, originally commissioned by MOCA for their upcoming Art in the Street exhibit, faces the Veterans Administration healthcare building on Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles. The news of the whitewashing (and a video time lapse of the censoring, seen below) has spread like wild fire on arts blogs and LA blogs throughout the day. So like GOOD asks, "was the mural too politically charged for members of the MOCA team?" A representative from MOCA commented that, in addition to facing the Veterans Administration, the mural overlooks a monument to Japanese-American soldiers, and said, "The museum's director explained to Blu that in this context, where MOCA is a guest among this historic Japanese American community, the work was inappropriate."

The best collection of images of the mural and its erasure are on street art blog, Unurth. Watch the time lapse video below.

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Filed by Nicole Campoy-Leffler  |