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Who Wants to Take Care of the Occupy LA Murals?

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The Department of Cultural Affairs is looking for one good gallery (or museum or educational institution or arts organization) to take the infamous Occupy LA murals off it hands. Its Call for Letters of Interest for the plywood structures the murals are painted on, posted yesterday by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, seems slightly hesitant about the value of the murals: "these wooden enclosures (Occupy LA Artifacts) are now perhaps cultural artifacts and works of art, evoking the spirit of an event of national/international importance and attention." Time will tell, apparently, whether or not the murals prove to be of any lasting artistic or cultural significance. According to the Call, "The Occupy LA Artifacts are painted on 16’ x 4’ x 4” panels comprised of plywood permanently attached to framing braces. (Images of the Occupy LA Artifacts attached.) These wall panels are constructed to be attached side-by side with bolts on the inside of the structures."

As for the litmus test that will separate those truly qualified to house and display artifacts of such indeterminate value, below are some of the criteria that Letters of Interest should address:

Eligibility: This Call for Letters of Interest is open to public and private entities, including but not limited to museums, galleries, arts organizations or educational institutions, with access to facilities and resources to exhibit the Occupy LA Artifacts on a periodic basis and store and maintain the same on a long term or permanent basis.
Costs: As stewards of these important artifacts, the selected entity or entities will absorb the costs associated with their exhibition, maintenance and storage.

Criteria: The responding entities must demonstrate the professional capacity to publicly exhibit, store and maintain the artifacts. Consideration will be given to the respondent's ability to present corresponding exhibition information that provides context regarding the artifacts' creation and imagery in relation to the Occupy movement, and the sociopolitical and historical value of the Occupy LA Artifacts. According to the Call, an independent selection panel will choose one or two institutions to receive the murals. Interestingly, the Call never mentions actual ownership of the mural, instead using the less binding terms "possession" and "stewardship" to describe the relationship, so it appears that the city will not be selling the murals to finance a xeriscape park for the City Hall lawn.
· Call for Letters of Interest for the exhibition, storage, and maintenance of the Occupy LA Artifacts [Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles blog]
· Occupy Mural Now Safe with the City of Los Angeles [Curbed LA]

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