Apple says it is planning to preserve George Floyd’s panoramic mural around the Apple Pioneer Place in Portland, Oregon. The art, which became emblematic of Black Lives Matter activism in 2020, will be donated at a later date.
Apple Pioneer Place reopened on May 27, after the closure of COVID-19, which began in March. On May 30, the store closed again after a night of protests and vandalism in Portland following the assassination of George Floyd. The store was looted and severely damaged along with more than a dozen other locations across the country. The closing took place just a day before the first anniversary of the store’s floor-to-ceiling renovation.
A plywood barrier around the store soon became a work of art thanks to muralist Emma Berger, who painted a portrait of George Floyd and the words “I can’t breathe”. Other members of the community came together, adding their own messages in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Berger subsequently added portraits of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Since June, the memorial at Apple Pioneer Place has attracted media attention, and community members have continued to leave posters, flowers and candles on the steps in front of the store. The mural has transformed from a simple message into a culturally significant tapestry that captures the spirit of the 2020 racial equality protests.
Although several other Black Lives Matter murals at Apple Stores around the world were removed earlier this year, Apple had not touched its Pioneer Place site until now. From the Oregonian Mike Rogoway says Apple will put protective plywood over the murals today and announce long-term plans for the art in early 2021.
No store reopening dates have been announced at this time, and Apple has not said which organization will donate the mural.
In a June letter entitled “Talking about racism”, Tim Cook expressed his support for racial equality. The company launched a $ 100 million initiative to ignite change.
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