A bold ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural has been completed on the street leading to the White House In D.C., and the Mayor has officially renamed the section of the street to ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’.
Following historic protests around the world, Mayor Muriel Bowser made a bold statement by commissioning a giant tribute to Black Lives Matter on 16th Street. It covers two blocks of 16th street that leads to the White House in Washington, D.C. the work began on Friday morning at 3:00 am (local time) and completed later the same day.
Upon completion, the mayor took to Twitter to announce that “The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’.”
— Mapbox (@Mapbox) June 5, 2020
The newly painted street art appears near Lafayette Square, where peaceful protestors were forced out of the square with tear gas and violent force to to make way for a photo-op of President Donald Trump holding a bible in front of St. John’s Church.
In a tweet about the mural, Bowser’s chief of staff, John Falcicchio, said that “There was a dispute this week about whose street this is. Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC’s street and to honor demonstrators who peacefully protested on Monday evening.”
However, the Black Lives Matter group in D.C. has criticized the work saying,“This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community. Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.”
UPDATE: A previous version of this article attributed the work to Artist Simone Leigh. However, the artist has since updated her original post stating that she had no involvement with the work.
Featured Image: Mayor Muriel Bowser via Twitter