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March 22, 2016

L&I: Bernie Sanders mural does not violate code

City reverses declaration of mural as a 'painted advertisement'

Murals Bernie Sanders
031016_BernieMural_CARROL.jpg Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Bernie Sanders mural at 22nd and Catherine streets, Thursday, March 10, 2016.

The developer who commissioned a mural of Bernie Sanders on a property in Graduate Hospital received a notice Monday from the Department of Licenses and Inspections saying it violates city code, according to But the city quickly reversed course, saying on Tuesday that the mural can stay.

In a letter sent to developer Max Glass, L&I said it deemed the mural a "painted advertisement" and a "sign." The city demanded that it be removed because Glass lacked the proper permit.

RELATED STORY: Bernie Sanders mural rises in Graduate Hospital area

Glass told he considered the "Philly The Bern" mural "artwork" and had no intention of removing it, but would apply for the proper permit. Nevertheless, L&I said on Tuesday that the violation notice was a mistake, declaring the mural as "political speech."

PhillyVoice could not reach Glass for comment. An L&I spokesperson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The mural, located at 22nd and Catharine streets, was painted over five days earlier this month on a building that Glass is redeveloping into a commercial space.

Glass launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised $5,849 to cover the mural's costs and to pay local artists Old Broads and Distort.

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