PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh artist isn’t waiting for protesters — he’s already painting over a building mural depicting American composer Stephen Foster.

A statue of Foster elsewhere in the city has drawn criticism amid Confederate statue controversies in various parts of the country. The Pittsburgh statue shows the 19th century songwriter standing next to a black man plucking a banjo. Critics say it is racist and demeaning. Others say it shows Foster drew inspiration from black spirituals and other music in crafting his minstrel songs.

Jeremy Raymer, who’s painted murals on several buildings, has posted an Instagram photo showing he’s covering one he painted of Foster with white doves against a blue sky. Another photo shows the wall covered with primer. The caption says: “Out with the old, in with the new.”

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.