GSA won't ask EPA to remove offensive murals

EPA MURAL: "Dangers of the Mail" considered offensive by Indian employees.
Additional Photos
The Environmental Protection Agency won't be asked to remove a serials of murals that depict Native people in an unfavorable light.

The murals at the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., were painted during the Depression era. They depict Native men scalping nude white women and murdering white men, as well as nude Native men and women in submissive positions.

Indian employees complained that the murals create a hostile work environment. In March 2005, the General Services Administration started a review process to determine what to do with pieces, which are considered historic.

In a September 12 letter, a GSA historic preservation specialist said opinion was split between keeping the murals and removing them. But due to their historic nature, the GSA recommends that the murals remain at the headquarters, to be covered with a screen so that people have the choice of viewing them [>Letter].

The Society of American Indian Government Employees, the National Congress of American Indians and other affected parties, including the family of mural artist, had advocated for the placement of the murals in a museum.

Relevant LInks:
Society of American Indian Government Employees -
Ariel Rios murals, General Services Administration -

Related Stories:
Forum scheduled on murals at EPA headquarters (10/27)
Indian murals at EPA building to undergo review (03/17)