In this photo taken April 3, 2019, a pair of students walk past a historic mural that includes slaves and a dead Native American at George Washington High School in San Francisco. The San Fransisco school board unanimously voted Tuesday, June 25, 2019, to destroy a controversial mural displayed in a public high school. This is the latest move in recent times to remove New Deal-era art, now considered offensive. (Yalonda M. James/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

San Francisco to paint over debated George Washington mural

July 04, 2019 - 12:03 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Board of Education will spend up to $600,000 to eliminate historical artwork depicting the life of George Washington.

An 83-year-old mural at George Washington High School has been criticized as racist and degrading for its depiction of black and Native American people. When the mural was created, many considered the work radical for showing unsavory aspects of American history, such as slavery.

School Board member Mark Sanchez voted to paint over the mural, saying it's unfair for students to see harmful images.

Critics worry the move censors a critical portrayal of history and that other New Deal-era artwork could face a similar fate.

Painting over the mural won't happen until at least fall and could be further delayed by a lawsuit.

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