Company opts to donate $50,000 rather than replace mural

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After a mural honoring veterans was painted over on a Deep Ellum building, the owner tried to make things right by making a big donation to a veteran’s group. But that has not ended the controversy.

Westdale Asset Management owns the building where The Green Room is located. The company came under fire after it decided to paint over a patriotic mural just days before the Fourth of July.

At first the company apologized, admitting poor judgment and said it would replace the work. Then it said in lieu of paying the artists to repaint the artwork, it would instead make a $50,000 donation to the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

“Westdale has decided that instead of paying the artists to replace the original mural in Deep Ellum, those resources could be better allocated to directly have a positive impact on our military veteran community,” the company said.

Deandra Simmons Lock is married to Jeremy Lock, the military photographer who captured the original image in Djibouti, Africa. It showed Marines break-dancing in front of an American flag.

“They gave a donation to a veteran’s organization and that’s great. I’m glad they’re honoring our veterans. That needs to be done. But the right thing to do would’ve been to give the donation to the veteran’s organization then also in addition to that pay for the mural to go back up,” she said.

There was an obvious breakdown in the arrangements to replace the artwork and that led to the latest development.

The Green Room Bar and Grill is not involved in the matter, just several local artists and the building owner. The artists said their next move will be a protest.