The long-awaited restoration of David Alfaro Siqueiro’s mural, América Tropical, has hit another snag. Though the restoration is on track to be completed later this year as scheduled, questions as to who will be in charge of showing the mural and running the site’s interpretive center remain.
As the Los Angeles Downtown News reports, Amigos de Siqueiros was set to take over the reins until it failed to receive enough votes in favor at a meeting of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument commissioners. Questions about the group’s ability to raise funds have also arisen in light of the fact that Amigos has raised less than $50, 000 since its inception four years ago.
Amigos de Siqueiros, which boasts L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, County Supervisor Gloria Molina, and actors Edward James Olmos and Martin Sheen as members of its board of directors, will need to raise at least $100, 000 a year to run the center.
Siqueiros painted the mural on the second story wall of Italian Hall in 1932 during his time in Los Angeles. The anti-colonial message of the piece, which portrays a crucified Mexican Indian at its center, was deemed too controversial and the mural was eventually painted over. El Pueblo sought to conserve and restore the mural in 1988 following a partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute. The restoration, which includes a viewing platform, protective shelter, and interpretive center, officially broke ground in Sept. 2010.