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City to Weigh in on Fate of Car Wash Mural

Is the Studio City Hand Car Wash mural legal? Is it art? Or is it advertising?

A mural nicknamed "The Great Wall of Studio City"  at a local car wash has been covered by a pink tarp since May as owner Ben Forat contends with the city of Los Angeles over whether the artwork is legal and whether it can remain up. A meeting on the matter takes place on Sept. 28.

Supporters of the artwork have been have been sending in pink cards to Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian to get him involved in support of the art. So far, Krekorian has not taken a position.

Jack McGrath, a spokesman for Forat and the Studio City Hand Car Wash, said that the issue will be the subject of an upcoming meeting. McGrath said if the city does not accept their covering as a solution, they will appeal to the Building and Safety Appeals Board.

The city has asked Forat to comply with the proper permits because as it now stands the mural constitutes unapproved advertising. Forat has refused to alter the mural at this point.

But Forat's supporters, including regular patrons of the car wash, say that the city should leave him and his artwork alone.

For his part, Krekorian has sent a letter to the city saying that he is powerless to step in because Forat has not exercised his right to appeal the city's citation officially.

"If handled differently from the outset, it could have been resolved more easily in a way that would permit the mural while still respecting the integrity of the specific plan" for the development of Ventura Boulevard, Krekorian's letter said.

Krekorian's office said that the final agenda of the art and planning committees will not be set until three days before the Sept. 28 meeting date. However, there may have been a delay on the issue until October, McGrath said recently.

Stu Miller March 31, 2011 at 02:52 AM
I notice the tarp is off and the Mural/Sign is fully exposed. What's the current status?

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