Update: American Flag Murals by Enzo Gallo have been Saved!

This Fourth of July we are celebrating our most recent preservation efforts to save “The Glory of Old Glory” American Flag murals from the wrecking ball. The murals will be donated to the City of Miami Beach, whose Commission voted recently to accept the works and to identify funding to restore them while a future home for the art is identified.

Since our last blog update in early June, MDPL has worked diligently along with a dedicated team of stakeholders to save the murals. This has been no easy task – each mural is approximately 15×15 feet, and weighs over 14,000 pounds combined!

Those who have been instrumental in this effort include:

  • Emilio Romero MD
  • David Heit LCAM
  • Julio Gallo MD
  • RLA Conservation
  • Americaribe
  • CitizenM
  • Michael Shvo
  • City of Miami Beach
  • Miami Beach Mayor and Commissioners

The hardworking team at Americaribe are to be applauded for the difficult manual labor of cutting and moving the mural pieces. Each piece is approximately 3 feet x 3 feet and weighs in excess of 300 pounds. All pieces are being numbered to help with storage and future reassembly.

photo credit: Alex Fernandez / Twitter

MDPL Highlights Murals

MDPL’s public outreach included a short video highlighting the murals and featuring vintage video footage from the Wolfson Archives.

The Miami Herald’s Martin Vassolo wrote about the efforts and the story ran on the cover of the Tropical Sunday paper on June 12th 2022:

CitizenM Steps Up to the Plate!

With the financial support of CitizenM, the entire set of murals were able to be removed, including the “Glory of Old Glory” murals along Lincoln Road and the “The Government … Three Pillars of the People” murals along Alton Road. According to the Miami Herald, CitizenM has spent in excess of $170,000 on removing the murals.

MDPL met on-site with CitizenM and stakeholders to thank them for their significant efforts to save the murals that mean so much to our community.

Pictured L to R: Harold Reniers, Citizen M; Commissioner Alex Fernandez; Emilio Romero MD; Daniel Ciraldo, Miami Design Preservation League; Natalia Arranz, Americaribe

Where to Store the Monumental Murals?

Once a plan had been worked out to save the murals, MDPL had to resolve the next big question: where could the murals be stored? MDPL reached out to its network of stakeholders and was provided a space by BH The Alton, whose managing member Michael Shvo recently purchased property nearby. The parties entered into agreement to store the murals for up to 12 months at a rate of $1 per month.

In the meantime, the City of Miami Beach Commission passed a resolution in support of accepting the murals, and the city administration has been directed to look for funding sources to restore and permanently display the artwork. With the murals in safe hands for at least the next year, the next phase of preservation can begin – working collaboratively to determine a new location and life for the murals, so that future generation can appreciate the story of the American Flag and the Three Pillars of Society.

We are grateful for this positive outcome and thankful to all those who helped ensure its success. Stay tuned to the MDPL blog for updates on the murals.

Pictured L to R: Emilio Romero MD, Daniel Ciraldo, Commissioner Alex Fernandez, Julio Gallo MD

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Learn about the Art Deco Museum capital campaign: click here.

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