NORMAL (WEEK) – Government officials have removed a painting of the late Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day from the site of a much-talked about mural in Uptown Normal, but a town spokesperson said its working with ISU to find a permanent site for the work.
An anonymous artist created the portrait as a tribute to Day who was missing for weeks before his body was discovered in the Illinois River in LaSalle County.
The mural adorns the west side of 104 East Beaufort Street, which was the planned site for the Trail East building. Developers agreed to preserve the mural, but later scrapped the entire project.
The painting was on display for only a day, but town spokesperson Cathy Oloffson said it had be removed because the town’s code prohibits any additions to the government-owned building without permission.
The town posted a notice at the site. It said the town “recognizes this piece as an expression of grief over a tragic situation and respectfully preserved the tribute.”
The notice went on to say, “We are working with Illinois State University to explore options for sharing it on campus.”
According to Oloffson, the portrait is being stored in a conference room of a government building, and it’s covered with a black cloth.
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