The artist who painted a mural of Joe Paterno on Heister Street in State College, Pa., decided to remove the halo that sat above the former Penn State football coach’s head, according to Onward State.
“Sadly, today is one of the hardest things that I’ve done,” artist Michael Pilato told passerbys on Saturday, Onward State reports. “I had to…I got rid of his halo.”
The halo was added after the coach’s death earlier this year.
“The reason I put halos on people is, when they pass away, it kind of reminds us that we have a short time here on Earth,” Pilato said.
Pilato and co-worker Yuriy Karabash decided the halo no longer fit.
A blue ribbon, which symbolizes support for child abuse victims, remains on Paterno’s jacket in the mural.
Many people have objected to former university president Graham Spanier’s presence on the mural. The Freeh report concluded that Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, former vice president Gary Schultz, and Joe Paterno, all worked to conceal the child sex abuse by Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky’s image was painted over in the mural last November after the Grand Jury’s findings were publicized.
Now that the halo has been removed from the mural, finally removing this from campus would be the next logical step for Penn State.
Below is a video of Pilato explaining why he got rid of the halo:
Here is what the mural looked like before: