City of Memphis will try to scrub lawfully installed ‘satanic’ murals

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A city council has voted to pursue the removal of six murals it has deemed offensive.

The Commercial Appeal reports 10 members of the Memphis City Council voted to scrub the Paint Memphis murals, including what some members called a “satanic” mural of a zombie covered in maggots and of Elvis with a snake winding through his facial orifices. Two abstained, citing concerns with the rubric for deciding what art is offensive.

Paint Memphis head Karen Golightly says the removals would violate a law permitting artists to prevent modification of lawfully installed artwork. Only three of the murals are on public property.

Mayor Jim Strickland says city attorneys will look at the legality of removal.

Last week, city crews accidentally removed seven non-controversial murals, destroying around $35,000 worth of art.

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