If you walked past 118 Mulberry Street (where Umberto’s Clam House is located) over the weekend, you might have noticed this creation, “Christmasaurus,” from Philly street artist NoseGo. It was part of a larger collaboration between the Little Italy Merchants’ Association and the Little Italy Street Art Project. But the mural did not last long. It’s now been crudely painted over.
Wayne Rada, who’s helping to coordinate the street art program, contacted us yesterday, after some pretty tense conversations with the vigilante neighbor who apparently did not appreciate the holiday-themed mural. Here’s the “open letter” he’s been circulating in the community:
You may have noticed art being put up in the neighborhood the last couple of months. Now art is in the eye of the beholder, but when the collection of works are complete you will see a diverse group of artists, with varying styles and themes that will highlight and touch on the rich history and traditions of Little Italy. This is an effort to bring good people, tourists and families to Little Italy. Now more than ever, after devastating weather and a national tragedy, we need to help draw the crowds back and make the children smile. The art so far has drawn over a half a million views online and many visitors coming to Little Italy to take photos of the art, which translates into the much-needed dollars for our local businesses. Last Saturday… the artist known as NoseGo, came in from Philly and in the spirit of the season, donated his time and creativity to paint what one passerby coined the “Christmasaurus”… Despite the fact that we had permission from the owner of the building to paint this mural, HENRY TRIEU who rents (an) apartment (at) 118 Mulberry Street, has zero authority, resents Little Italy, and says its residents are a pain-HIS WORDS! – falsely claimed to be the owner of the building and unsuccessfully tried to block the mural from being finished. After he said such horrible things, we tried to calm him… (letting) him know after the holidays (the wall would be repainted gray), but that wasn’t good enough for HENRY TRIEU! So, late Monday early Tuesday 12/18 in a spiteful and selfish act against the community and Christmas itself, HENRY TRIEU painted over the mural in an ugly red color. Our response to this appalling behavior is this letter. HENRY TRIEU needs to understand that he is lucky to live in Little Italy and with its people, and we will not tolerate this type of bullying or abusive behavior.
Vanadlog has more photos and details about the project, as well as its untimely demise.