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Lewis camp paid for seven-story mural honoring pol as ‘hero’

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Mural of Rep. John LewisA new mural of U.S. Rep. John Lewis has elevated hero worship of the civil rights campaigner to a new plane: the seventh story, made possible by campaign contributions to congressman’s reelection effort.

The massive rendering of the veteran Democrat, entitled “*Hero,” will be formally dedicated Friday when a smattering of prominent local politicians gather in the downtown Atlanta neighborhood in which Martin Luther King, Jr. came of age.

Atlanta muralist Sean Schwab, the artist behind the project, donated his time for the effort, but told Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA the Lewis campaign underwrote expenses incurred. Among them: a sixty-five foot lift necessary to complete the colossal painting.

Update: This item was predicated on a report by WXIA, which said in part: “The Lewis campaign paid for part of the project, but Schwab donated his time.”

But the affiliate’s story has since been amended, without an editor’s note, to now read: “According to the John Lewis campaign, Atlanta Restaurant Partners and businessman Mack Wilbourn funded the project, but Schwab donated his time.” A caption for an image of the mural, though, still indicates that Lewis partially underwrote the effort.

The muralist’s wife, Maggie Schwab, told Tipsheet Friday that Atlanta-based home improvement retailer The Home Depot provided supplies gratis while Sunbelt, a construction equipment rental outfit, donated the lift.

Below, a composite image of the before and after:

— Georgia Tipsheet (@GeorgiaTipsheet) August 24, 2012

- James Richardson

  • Maggie

    Hi James. This is Sean Schwab’s wife and I just wanted to let you know that your report is not accurate. I know for a fact that the campaign did not contribute to the mural. Home Depot donated the materials and Sunbelt donated the lift. Sean did donate his time. Thank you.

  • blight14

    Utter buffoons, collectively…..How about a giant ‘tribute’ to the fantastic management of Detroit too? To call that drooling fool a ‘hero’ is setting the bar so low its nearly on the ground……