The landlord asked fans for $1250 a month to keep the mural intact.
A huge mural of The Notorious B.I.G. on the side of a house in Brooklyn is set to be destroyed because the owner of the building wants to renovate.
Located on a building at Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood, the mural has been attracting tourists to the spot since it was painted in 2015, but the landlord, Samuel Berkowitz, now says he will to remove it in order to add new windows.
Berkowitz said he saw no reason to keep the mural. “Let me rephrase the question: Why should I keep it?” he told 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 secured permits for the work in March, including the addition of two windows to the wall with the mural.
Spread Art NYC, a collective affiliated with the mural’s artists Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui and Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman, had offered Berkowitz cash to keep the mural up, but said it couldn’t afford the $1,250 a month demanded by the landlord.
“[The] landlord always calls us and claims that the neighbors are complaining about the mural and the crowds it attracts,” said Spread Art NYC in an Instagram post. “At this point, there is nothing Spread Art NYC can do to save this mural.”
As Curbed points out, if this Biggie mural goes, at least there are several more in the neighborhood, including the “Comandante Biggie” painting above LaFayette Avenue station.
Meanwhile, the forthcoming TV drama about the murders of Biggie and Tupac recently cast newcomer Wavyy Jones as The Notorious B.I.G, with Marc Rose, who played Tupac in Straight Outta Compton, stepping into Shakur’s shoes again.