It takes a village to move a mural

In the “Arts” section of the Saturday June 20, 2021 issue of The New York Times,Carol Pogash published a long article, “A Fresco’s Relocation is handled with Care”, about the removal of Diego Rivera’s “Pan American Unity”-- a 30 ton, 70 foot by 22 foot mural --from the wall of the lobby of a theater at City College of San Francisco and its move to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where it will remain on view until 2023.  Although Rivera painted the mural on panels which could be moved rather than on the wall, when the ten panels were installed at City College they were attached to the wall with studs embedded into concrete.

Much of the article focuses on the people who helped the project come to fruition such as Will Maynez, who spent 25 years researching and promoting the mural and pushing for a study on the feasibility of moving it and Alejandro Ramirez Reivich, a professor of engineering design who led the investigation into how the mural was to be moved. By the time the Sunday morning in May on which the mural was moved arrived, mechanical engineers, architects, art historians, fresco experts, art handlers, riggers, and many more people from both the U.S. and Mexico had played a part. It takes a village to move a mural.