Historical Biggie Mural in Brooklyn to Be Destroyed By Landlord [PHOTO]
A day before Notorious B.I.G.’s 45th birthday on Sunday (May 21), we get the sad news that the huge Biggie paint mural covering an apartment building in the late rapper’s native Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y., is being destroyed.
According to DNAInfo (New York), the building’s landlord Samuel Berkowitz wants to remove the mural so he can add windows for the apartments and raise the rent. For him, he doesn't see any commercial value of keeping the mural up.
“Why should I keep it,” he said to DNAInfo. “I don’t even see the point of the discussion. I could demolish the building if I wanted to, I don’t need no permission from anyone except the DOB [Department of Buildings].”
Berkowitz have secured permits for the removal, which includes a gut renovation of the second floor and the addition of two windows to the wall with the mural, according to documents from the DOB. But it's unclear when the mural would be removed.
New York artist group Spread Art NYC attempted to negotiate with Berkowitz to not destroy the mural. The collective offered him $5,000 in cash to keep the mural up. However, Berkowitz declined the offer, but countered with $1,250 a month. Spread Art NYC admitted they couldn't meet his offer, therefore, the mural will be destroyed.
“At this point, there is nothing Spread Art NYC can do to save this mural,” the collective said in an Instagram post above. “We always say, Brooklyn is Biggie and Biggie is Brooklyn. A landlord can never change that!”
Although the mural will be destroyed, it won't diminish Biggie's legacy in Brooklyn.