The story was first reported by our news partners at the Houston Chronicle.
Now, some residents in the neighborhood are fed up, saying it shows a lack of respect for their culture.
“I was disappointed and sad at first,” said community leader Richard Reyes, who is also Houston’s “Pancho Claus.”
Reyes told ABC13 he was shocked when he learned that someone had painted over the mural, which once covered a wall outside of the Washateria on Airline Drive.
“I think we have a responsibility, we who put murals up, to also have a plan on how to keep them up,” said Reyes.
The artwork, commissioned in the early 90s by two John H. Reagan High School students, honored Reyes’ unique Pancho Claus character.
Reyes said although he was initially taken aback when the mural was erased, he also understands why the new owners did it. Reyes said they told him pieces of the artwork had begun to chip away.
“I thought about how it’s been up there for almost 30 years, on a private building, and that’s really unheard of,” he said. “I was really appreciative of it.”
ABC13 reached out to the Houston Avocado Real Estate Company after their business purchased the building where the artwork originally stood.
They responded with the following statement.
Now, leaders at the Latino Learning Center are doing all they can to preserve their culture through other pieces of artwork around Houston.
“The first thing we need to do is identify all of those murals. This is to collectively fix all the murals around town,” said organizer Rene Hernandez with the Latino Learning Center.
Hernandez encourages local artists and community members to come to the Latino Learning Center Saturday at 3 p.m. to discuss ideas on recreating art pieces around the city.
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