An artist removed a halo from a mural of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno following the release of the Freeh report. The mural is on the side of a Penn State student bookstore.
“Sadly, today is one of the hardest things that I’ve done,” said artist Michael Pilato. “I had to…I got rid of his halo.”
Pilato put a halo over Paterno’s image after the coach died in January. He removed the halo Saturday after an investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh uncovered that Paterno, former university president Graham Spanier and others buried allegations of child sex-abuse against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno’s family denies the claim.
Pilato added a large blue ribbon on Paterno’s lapel symbolizing support for child abuse victims — a cause the artist said Paterno endorsed.
Last month, Pilato removed Sandusky’s image following his conviction on 45 counts of child sex abuse. Sandusky’s painting was replaced by an image of a poet and activist draped with a blue ribbon.
Pilato said he hasn’t made a decision whether to remove Spanier’s image. Spanier hasn’t been charged.