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Lightning? Disrepair? Conflicting reports on what may have caused George Floyd mural to collapse

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A mural honoring George Floyd erected at Summit and Lagrange in Toledo collapsed on Tuesday. According to Toledo Police, witnesses say it was destroyed by a lightning strike. 13abc’s Doppler Radar did show a lightning strike in that block at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, but there are conflicting reports on what may have caused the collapse.

Hugh Koogan, a city building inspector, told our media partner the Toledo Blade the collapse was a result of natural deterioration and had noticed the middle of the wall bowing recently.

“It was just age. It just came away,” the inspector told the Blade.

Toledo Police were seen outside the building, which used to house the Mugshots Bar, setting up tape around the pile of bricks that once formed the artwork.

The mural was painted nearly one year to the date of its collapse, in July 2020. Groups have held memorial services for Floyd in front of the mural, including on the one-year anniversary of his death at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was later convicted of murder and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

The building itself is structurally sound, according to a City of Toledo building inspector. The building’s owner is working to clean up the bricks and tear down the rest of the mural wall.

The City of Toledo has already released a statement on the mural, saying they will work with the arts commission on planning for a new mural, or help the commission and the artist find a new location, adding that they were heartbroken to see artist David Ross’s work collapse.

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