Debate Over Massive Mural of Puerto Rican Flag in Historic Miami District

An online petition is urging the City of Miami and other officials to allow a massive mural of a Puerto Rican flag to remain at a building housing a new restaurant.

The petition – addressed to outgoing Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and the City of Miami Planning Board – has acquired more than 50,000 signatures.

The three-floor building, located in Miami's MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, was painted by Puerto Rican artist Héctor Collazo Hernández in late December.

However, the owners of the La Placita restaurant, who helped pave the way for the mural, did not submit the proper requests and now the mural must be removed, according to the MiMo Biscayne Association.

The MiMo Biscayne Association was created to "preserve the MIMO architecture and 1950’s ambiance of Biscayne Boulevard."

The restaurant owners, including actor Julian Gil, had to apply to the MiMo Biscayne Association and the city's planning department beforehand to receive proper permission, members argue.

The petition hopes to gather enough signatures to warrant a response from government officials, arguing it would bring community cohesion and serve as a tourist attraction.

"After many months of [planning], investment, collaboration, support from hundreds [of] people and requesting permits from the city, this tribute is now being threatened to be removed by a small locally created board," the petition reads. "This flag means a lot to Puerto Ricans living here in Miami, to many Miamians and to many others that gracefully helped out."

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