Popular Wichita mural being replaced

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A popular mural on Wichita's north side is being replaced, sparking complaints and even death threats against the building's owner.

"I never even touch it," said Natalie Barrueta, owner of Glam and Glitter Fashion.

Barrueta knows how fragile the mural outside her business at 25th and Arkansas is.

"The community just loves it. Hispanics, everybody. Everybody comes here and takes pictures of it. It's been in a few Quinceañeras."

The mural has been up for 12 years, and it's showing its age.

Parts of the mural are chipping, others are discolored from paint used to hide graffiti.

That's why the woman who owns the building, Janiece Dixon, is having the mural replaced.

Dixon describes the mural as a community project.

The mural itself was painted by a diverse group, including gang members, Wichita police officers, school children, neighbors and others.

"Janiece decided it was time for new energy, a new vibrancy on that corner, so she had planned for quite some time to take that mural out and put a new one up," said Dixon's media liaison, Maureen Masters.

But the news came at a bad time.

The artist who helped design the mural, Kathy Hull, died just three months ago.

She was hit by a car on the WSU campus, where she worked.

The artist's son, Ram Hull, wasn't happy with the decision to replace his mother's work and took to social media.

"He is in a delicate place, and it didn't sit right. He went on social media and made some claims that then motivated other people to place threats against the owner of this building," said Masters.

Ram Hull didn't have time for an on-camera interview but posted on Facebook, asking for extra time to mourn his mom's mural.

Now he's asking his Facebook friends and those who have shared his post to give Dixon "peace," saying he's in talks with the building's owner and "looking for a new place to recreate the mural."

Masters couldn't say for certain when the mural will come down but did say it's a matter of days.

What will go in its place is said to be a mural depicting strong Latina women.

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