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University of Iowa project to document protest graffiti before removing it

Demonstrators gather on the lawn of the Pentacrest in Iowa City on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
Demonstrators gather on the lawn of the Pentacrest in Iowa City on Saturday, June 6, 2020.(KCRG File)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 4:07 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The University of Iowa is spending $1 million to remove spray-painted messages Black Lives Matter protesters left on campus buildings earlier this summer. But not before documenting and preserving the images for future generations.

Hundreds of protesters who gathered and marched across the campus in recent weeks left a slew of social justice messages, including on the 178-year-old Old Capitol and 93-year-old Field House.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the $1 million cleanup will employ five Iowa companies to remove the spray paint from building exteriors. To preserve the messages, UI Libraries will collect photos in an institutional archive that will grow and expand with additional documents, video clips, sound recordings, and first-person narratives.

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