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Joe Paterno’s Halo is Removed From Penn State Mural [PHOTOS]

This past Saturday muralist, Michael Pilato, altered his famous Penn State artwork in a dramatic way– by removing the halo painted over the head of former head football coach Joe Paterno.

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This comes after the revelations about Paterno’s role in the child sexual abuse scandal that has forever changed the university.

The mural, which adorns the university bookstore, shows a group of local luminaries, including Joe Paterno who had been the head coach of the Penn State football team for almost 46 years. Pilato had added the halo after Paterno passed away on January 22, 2012.

Pilato and his family have been friends with the Paternos for several years and stated that making this decision was a tough one. But after everything that was revealed in last week’s Freeh report, Pilato said, “I had no choice.”

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A former FBI director Louis Freeh released the 267-page report, commissioned by Penn State, about the role of the university and its employees in the serial sexual abuse of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Freeh’s report revealed the roled of the “four most powerful people” of Penn State, Joe Paterno was included. The other three are former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, for Athletic Director Timothy Curry (both face criminal charges alleging they failed to report the abuse and for perjury in grand jury testimony) and university President Graham Spanier. Spanier has been forced out of his position as head of the university but remains on staff as a tenured professor of Sociology.

The report says that they all concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities.”

“Sue Paterno had been quoted as saying Joe was not a saint. That made this decision easy for me to execute,” Pilato told NBC News. After removing the halo, Pilato painted a blue ribbon over the chest of the late coach’s image.

“The last time I saw Joe in his home before he died, he said to me, ‘I wish there were classes that taught on sexual abuse,’ Pilato stated. “The blue ribbon signifies awareness of the sexual abuse and knowing where Joe’s thought were on this, I felt it was appropriate to give him the blue ribbon.”

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Pilato also has removed Sandusky’s image from the mural after his arrest in November. In the images above his is replaced with a blue ribbon. The artist now has an image of Dora McQuaid, a Penn State graduate who is an activist on sexual and domestic abuse issues. Pilato also plans to have all of the victims of Sandusky added to the mural in the future.

After knowing the reasoning behind this I have to say I completely agree and understand. Why should a man who knowingly covered up horrendous acts still be considered as this wonderful man? What are your thoughts readers?

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