A Detroit mural of Aretha Franklin was defaced over the weekend, only a week after an estate-supported exhibit about the Queen of Soul debuted in the city’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the mural — created by London-based artist Richard Wilson in Detroit’s Eastern Market as part of the annual Murals in the Market public art event — was vandalized by an alleged paint thief. After stealing two tubs of spray paint, the culprit threw black paint over the mural that took 12 days to complete.
The offender has yet to be caught.
The iconic singer passed away back in August after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
The new exhibit at the Wright Museum, “Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul,” explores the legend’s life and career using artifacts like clothing, shoes, video displays and photos. Items on display include a 1956 vinyl of “Never Grow Old,” the first-ever recording Franklin released.
“This is an opportunity for people to come back and engage, reminisce and reflect,” Wright museum board member Kelly Major Green told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s the beginning of a much longer expression of who Aretha is.”
The museum’s rotunda is where Franklin laid in repose for public viewing after her death in late August. The eye-catching red suit and crimson pumps she wore during one of the viewings will also be on display.
Although the four-month exhibit will continually change, the estate plans to create a permanent museum exhibit of the singer’s life in a yet-to-be-determined location in 2020, the Free Press reports.
“Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul” will run until January 21 2019.