Joe’s no angel, based on an artist’s reintepretation of a mural he created 12 years ago honoring legendary Penn State football coating Joe Paterno and updated earlier this year after Paterno’s death.
| Clipped wings: Closeup of Paterno on mural with halo, left, and with halo painted over, right.|
Artist Michael Pilato felt compelled to make a few changes to the mural in the wake of a damning report on the sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, according to news reports.
In the most recent modification, Pilato on Saturday painted over a halo he had added over Paterno’s head on the mural, following Paterno’s passing in January.
Pilato discusses his decision to cover the halo in this video.
The mural, located at the university bookstore in State College, Pa., depicts a number of big-name individuals from the area. According to news reports, Pilato took the action following release of a 297-page report issued by former FBI director Louis Freeh that detailed Penn State’s handling of the serial abuse of boys by Sandusky.
Pilato earlier had removed Sandusky from the mural. In news reports about the changes to the mural, Pilato said the decision to paint over the mural was difficult, but that he “had no choice.”
Pilato’s revision to the mural generated considerable news coverage, including this NBC News story.
The 267-page Freeh report, commissioned by Penn State, concludes that Paterno and high-ranking university officials were complicit in working to protect Sandusky, the football program and their own reputations.
Pilato is shown painting the halo on the mural in an image on his website; see Pilato Murals.