The real estate developers who painted over a historic Jewish Lower East Side mural now say they will commission a new one — though they don’t know where it will be painted, or when. And it won’t feature Jews.
Painted on the side of a building attached to the former Bialystoker Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, the old mural featured scenes of Jewish garment union workers on strike, a depiction of the front page of the Forverts and Jewish religious images.
Just blocks from the old Forward headquarters, the mural was a key landmark of the old Jewish Lower East Side.
At the time that the mural was painted over, The Ascend Group told the New York Post that the mural posed safety concerns. The building on which it was painted is currently slated for demolition.
According to dnainfo’s report, The Ascend Group will work with a local arts organization called CITYarts to replace the mural, either on one of the luxury apartment buildings that the developer is putting up next door to the Bialystoker home, or elsewhere. The timing is unclear.
The head of CITYarts told dnainfo that the new mural will not focus on the Jewish Lower East Side.
“It will be sort of bringing our families together and their heritage — after all, Jewish people cannot exist without Chinese food, right?” Tsipi Ben-Haim, the group’s executive director, told dnainfo. “Or Latin music, or Italian pizza. We need to think today, in the world we live in, in the global village — we have to reach out and build bridges.”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.