Lexington East End neighborhood mural painted over

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A mural representing the great jockeys and horse races of Lexington's East End Neighborhood is no longer there.

Now, some who live nearby are upset it has been painted over.

While driving through Lexington you can find plenty of art work. Some are is iconic, some are is modern and some art has been erased.

"Well, people are going to stop and stare and look and say, 'Where is it at? I wonder where it went to,'" James West, a former East End resident, says.

LexArts oversaw the mural project that was completed in 2011. The art work depicts jockeys, some African American and the historic races that happened before Keeneland existed.

"In a way, it's sad to see something go. But we can celebrate the time we had in the process of community that happened in the process," Nathan Zamarron, with LexArts, says.

The folks who work inside the business on the corner of Elm Tree Lane and Short Street say the mural was painted over a couple of weeks ago.

"To be honest, it's his business but he could have left the landmark the way it was, to represent the neighborhood," Zamarron says.

The former owner of the building, Dick Hurst agreed to keep the mural for five years, but he died.

Zeff Maloney bought the place and says he didn't know the painting was an official art project.

Maloney says he thought the former owner painted it and didn't recognize its significance. He tells us no one passed along any information about piece before he bought it.

Maloney says he feels horrible and wishes it never happened. Although this is bad news for the neighborhood, one city councilman believes there is something good that can come from this.

"We do a lot of awareness when its dedicated perhaps this may give us an opportunity to acknowledge it before its time to recess or expire," Chris Ford, a Lexington councilman, says.

Maloney also tells WKYT that he would like to sponsor plaques for any future artwork, informing the public about the importance of that piece of art.

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