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Petition Calls For Removal Of IU Mural Depicting KKK Scene
Updated September 1, 2017 7:55 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - A longtime piece of artwork at IU is now at the center of controversy, leading to hundreds of students calling for school officials to take it down.

An online petition calls on Indiana University to remove part of a more than 80-year-old lecture room mural that depicts a Ku Klux Klan rally.

The petition was started by Jacquline Barrie and calls on the university to take a stand against hate by removing the section of the mural. staff. The 12-foot-by-12 foot mural was created by Thomas Hart Benton for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

A petition circulating on states:

"The student Right to Freedom from Discrimination states: Students have the right to study, work, and interact in an environment that is free from discrimination in violation of law or university policy by any member of the university community. Students at Indiana University are expected to respect the rights and dignity of other students, faculty, and inclusion..."

In a statement, Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs and Presidential Communications Ryan Piurek said in part:

"Through much discussion, analysis and reflection over many years, Indiana University has consistently concluded that education is the best response to concerns over the Benton Murals. We believe that students gain the most if they are well informed about the murals, which serve as a reminder and testimonial to an unsavory and criminal portion of Indiana's history. Their presence helps insure history will be not repeated. Indeed, Benton chose to highlight this chapter of the state's history precisely because it was ugly history."

The statement also read that the university will provide support and resources for students and staff impacted by the mural through its Division of Student Affairs, and Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

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