NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s become a fixture in the East Village, but now many believe a Michael Jackson mural should come down.
Colorful murals grace many walls throughout the city, but this one in particular is causing controversy.
“Oh I think it should stay up,” East Village resident Sandy Gluck said.
“I think it probably should come down to be honest,” Jason Roman countered.
The artwork on 11th Street near First Avenue is one of several by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. It depicts Michael Jackson in two stages of his life.
On the left, his face as young boy. On the right, the adult pop star.
It was completed in July of last year. Recently, the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” revisited long held accusations that Jackson sexually two abused children.
His accusers, now adults, detailed the alleged abuse.
The revisit of the old allegations has made people think twice about the pop music legend and his music. So should his image remain?
“Oh, good question, beautiful piece of art, controversial figure – I don’t know,” Jim Janik said.
“Yes! Music-wise yes,” another New Yorker told CBS2’s Valerie Castro.
“I do think he was an icon, but at the same time I think we have to be respectful of the children he interacted with and maybe he didn’t treat them the best? So I’m not taking a side, I’m really in the middle,” Lindsay Lamb explained.
“I think taking something like that down is not going to bring back or change anything that happened,” Josh Gomez added.
A similar argument to those who supported keeping the Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle in 2017. The city was divided over whether the monument to the Italian explorer should be removed.
CBS2 reached out to the artist who created the mural, but haven’t heard back.
As for the Columbus statue, it will remain with the stipulation that the city will commission a new monument to recognize the contributions of indigenous peoples.