NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Crews in Norfolk have painted over a letter in the “Norfolk” mural on the side of the Waterside District.
The letter “F” in the mural contained an image of the city’s Confederate monument. Images from Waterside Thursday showed new scenery in that letter — an old car on a Norfolk street, with a sunset in the background.
Near Town Point Park, 10 On Your Side talked to people who walked by the mural. Most didn’t notice the change. A few said they couldn’t remember what image had covered the “F.”
“No I guess I haven’t look that closely, why?” John Powers said as he walked over to view it.
Upon closer inspection, Powers said he thought the change was fine.
“I think it’s good to remove any sources of conflict about a design on the outside of your building,” he said.
Glenn Sutch, President of Waterside District, issued this statement about why they made the change:
We are proud to have welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests to Waterside District since opening in the Spring and to be able to provide a welcoming gathering place for the entire community to enjoy. The inclusion of the picture was inadvertent, and upon discovery, we promptly made a change which also is in keeping the Mayor and City Council’s recent decision regarding the monument.”
Confederate monuments have been the subject of widespread debate and protest within the last month. The debate intensified after violence broke out during counter-protests of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
As the day went on, more people came to the see the mural in a different light.
“Waterside should be commended for that,” one woman said.
“I mean I think its good they took it off, for sure,” said another.
John Powers said the change to the mural represents a bigger picture.
“I think they do need to have a serious discussion about the monument, calmly,” he said.
A peaceful protest was held at Norfolk’s downtown monument two weeks ago. Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander asked city council in a letter on Aug. 16 to look into the matter of whether or not to move the monument.
Council voted several days after the protest to move forward with relocating the monument.