“Sadly, today is one of the hardest things that I’ve done,” spoke Michael Pilato to a group of 20 or so passersby on Heister Street this afternoon. “I had to…I got rid of his halo.”
The halo above Joe Paterno’s head on the Heister street mural entitled “Inspire,” was removed this morning by artists Pilato and co-worker Yuriy Karabash. The paint was still drying as Karabash said that this morning was simply “tough.” The halo had originally been added after Joe Paterno’s death earlier this year.
Pilato went on to explain that Sue Paterno has said her husband was never a saint, so he felt that the halo should be removed after the release of the Freeh report. A blue ribbon — symbolizing support for child abuse victims — remains on Paterno’s jacket.
Graham Spanier’s picture still remains on the mural, much to many viewers’ dismay. Pilato said, though, that he thinks someone else will remove Spanier before he does. People have already thrown eggs at Spanier’s painting.
“The reason I put halos on people is, when they pass away, it kind of reminds us that we have a short time here on Earth,” Pilato said.