(NEW YORK) — After some, soul-searching, artist Michael Pilato got rid of the halo that he put over the head of Joe Paterno six months ago.
It was in 2000 that Pilato first created the mural “Inspiration” in downtown State College, Pennsylvania as a tribute to Paterno and other Penn State figures. When the former head football coach passed away last January, Pilato added the halo.
However, the conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of molesting boys and the subsequent report last week that Paterno played “an integral part of the act to conceal” Sandusky’s crimes were too much for Pilato to bear.
So, he painted over the halo in the mural and then added a blue ribbon to Paterno’s lapel that symbolizes support for the victims of child abuse.
The artist said, “Sue Paterno had been quoted as saying Joe was not a saint. That made this difficult decision easier for me to execute.”
Former President Graham Spanier, who was fired by Penn State while also being implicated in the Freeh report, is also included in the mural. Pilato says Spanier’s image has been pelted by eggs over the past several days.
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