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  • Actor Danny Glover opposed painting over a mural that shows George Washington's relation to slavery.

    Actor Danny Glover opposed painting over a mural that shows George Washington's relation to slavery. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 August 2019

“The Life of Washington” mural shows white people standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working in George Washington’s estate in Virginia. 

Actor Danny Glover opposed painting over a mural at the San Francisco Washington High school Monday. 

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The mural, namely, “The Life of Washington” was painted by Victor Arnautoff, one of the famous muralists in San Fransisco during the Depression i.e., the 1920s United States. 

The 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot (149-square-meter) mural depicts President George Washington as a soldier, surveyor, and statesman. It also shows white people standing over the body of a Native American man and slaves working in Washington’s estate in Virginia. 

The mural was found offensive by many and in June the school board voted to paint over it. 

Glover and dozens of citizens, artists, community leaders protested the decision. The actor compared the decision of the school board to a “book burning.”

Glover, who was a student of the school said the mural is “a reminder of the horrors of human bondage.”

“I am for freedom of expression and against artistic censorship,” he said in a statement. “I view (Victor) Arnautoff’s murals, as they were for me, a reminder of the horrors of human bondage and the mistreatment of native peoples, even by the father of our country. To destroy them or block them from view would be akin to book burning. We would be missing the opportunity for enhanced historic introspection this moment has provided us.”

He also said he has been “fighting for freedom and the right of artistic expression” his entire life and his choice of films, like The Color Purple, shows his views about racism.

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