Illinois city waits to return lynching mural to artist

ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — A commission in northeastern Illinois won’t return an artist’s mural depicting part of a lynching scene until officials create guidelines for what can be done with a returned piece.

The (Elgin) Courier-News reports that the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission rejected artist David Powers’ request Monday for the return of his piece, “American Nocturne.”

The city put the mural into storage after learning in 2016 that the painting was based on a crowd photographed during a 1930 lynching in Marion, Indiana.

Amanda Harris is the city staff liaison to the commission. She says officials fear the piece will be displayed elsewhere without an explanation about the work’s history.

Harris says the commission may create an art return request form with rules for what artists can do with pieces returned to them.