|By David Damron and Carolina Salazar, Orlando Sentinel|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That's what supporters, a league official and fans from as far away as
"We're going to get our mural back, and it's going to be bigger and better," said
A nearby insurance salesman who has supported the league was stunned by the defacement and pledged to help pay to bring the original artist,
"I couldn't believe what I was reading," said
"It broke my heart."
With the help of Cerenzio and others who can help pay for travel and paint costs, Lugo said that the artist Nazario, a childhood friend, already had agreed to come back to do another mural for free.
"My heart dropped," said Nazario, who plans to return next month to paint something "grander." Clemente's humanitarian work made him a real hero, Nazario said, so one goal of the mural was to spark conversations between children and parents about who he was.
"Kids nowadays don't have someone like that to look up to," Nazario said.
Residents discovered the defaced mural Wednesday.
"It has been completely painted over by an unknown suspect," the police report stated. The principal "could not place a value on the cost to replace the mural ... as it can not be repaired."
That reality struck one Clemente fan from
When Clemente died in a plane crash delivering earthquake-relief aid to
"I've always believed that in many important ways Clemente was to Hispanics, and Puerto Ricans in particular, what
The director of the
"As a baseball fan, and having some personal and professional experience with community development and public art, I was saddened to hear of the loss of this iconic neighborhood mural," said
Offers of help also came from the
"Our whole department was just devastated," said
"We can't take action when we still don't know what happened -- if it is an act of racism or if it is an internal dispute," Guzman said.
Guzman, who once suggested changing the name of
Late Thursday night, Guzman emailed an open letter to
In the letter, Guzman said he awaited a "positive answer" from civic leaders in the next 10 days.
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