Mayor's office saves Foster the People's 'Supermodel' mural

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has stepped in to save the Foster the People mural downtown

Foster the People’s “Supermodel” mural in downtown Los Angeles, which had been scheduled to be painted over, has been given a full reprieve by Mayor Eric Garcetti and will remain, according to the band’s publicist.

An online petition to save the mural, signed by nearly 12,000 people, and coverage of the story in The Times were cited in Garcetti’s decision to intervene.

“We just received a call from the mayor’s office,” Foster the People tweeted late Sunday. “@EricGarcetti saw your petition and decided against repainting the wall. The Mural Stays!”

The 125-by-150-foot mural went up in January on the side of a building at 539 S. Los Angeles St. in January, part of a free performance the band gave ahead of the March release of its latest album, “Supermodel.”

Foster the People leader Mark Foster said the mural, replicating the cover of the album, was created as his way of giving something back to the city of Los Angeles, and the downtown area where Foster lives.

But some argued that it constituted an advertisement for the band and the album, and regulations on murals in the city stipulate that they cannot be ads.

Resident Hanna Ross started the petition to preserve the mural at, and it quickly gathered thousands of signatures. “The mayor’s office cited the petition and your coverage as big influences on the decision,” the band’s spokesman told Pop & Hiss on Monday.

The band and fans turned what was to be the daylong filming of the painting over of the mural on Monday into a celebration of its preservation. The artwork was created by Dutch artist Young & Sick and painted on the building over the course of nearly two weeks in December and January by artist Daniel Lahoda, street artist Leba and graffiti art groups L.A. Freewall and Vyal.

Additional coverage is coming soon on the Times' Culture Monster blog and in Calendar.

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