Magistrate judge to decide if Mount Dora man's 'Starry Night' mural violates code

by: Roy Ramos Updated:

MOUNT DORA, Fla. - If you’re driving down Old 441 in Mount Dora, you can’t miss it—the blue, white and bright yellow shades of paint are sure to catch your eye.

It’s the work of artist Richard Barrenechea. The mural in progress which is painted in the likeness of Vincent Van Gogh’s "Starry Night," was commissioned by the homeowner and he says it’s exactly what the city needs.

Read: Iconic Mount Dora mural must go, city officials say

“The people you can see around, they stop by, they beep the horn and say, ‘Keep it up,’” said Barrenechea.

But some say it doesn’t belong.

“I don’t know how to explain it. It just, it is really just unfit,” said resident Glen Pierce.

Photos: Mount Dora mural ordered to be removed

City leaders have worked to put an end to the project with a code violation.

“They say it is graffiti, a violation code of graffiti and advertising,” Pierce said.

Read: Mount Dora mural finished despite requests to remove it

But Barrenechea classifies his work as art and hopes that a magistrate judge, who will meet with city leaders, will too.

Code enforcement said it violated a code because it doesn’t match the house.  

City officials will meet Friday to have a discussion on whether the mural violates city code.

Barrenechea spent the week adding finishing touches ahead of the meeting.

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