STATE COLLEGE — The well-known mural on Hiester Street has been changed again.
Artist Michael Pilato removed the halo above Joe Paternos head that was added after Paterno died in January.
Pilato said he paints halos on all deceased people that appear on his murals because its a reminder that life is short.
But he said Saturday he decided to remove the halo when he heard people saying that it was placed to make Paterno look saint-like.
I removed it for his family, Pilato said. I think that is what he would have wanted.
As a public artist, he said he has to listen to what the community is saying about his murals and the misconception was the reason he removed it. He also said he has not decided if he will continue to paint halos on people who die and may find another way to recognize them.
Pilato also added a blue ribbon to Paternos jacket symbolizing sexual abuse awareness, an idea Pilato discussed with Paterno prior to his death.
Despite the release of the Louis Freeh report, which said Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz knew about Jerry Sanduskys sexual abuse and did not stop it, Pilato said he will not vilify Paterno.
But he said his perception of all of the men has changed at least a little.
Were all humans, but I can not deny history, he said. I can not put on a blindfold.
Pilato said he is a strong believer in forgiveness and he still loves Paterno despite everything that has happened.
Penn State alumna Christine Allen, of York, said she agreed that it was a good idea to remove the halo.
I think for people that did not know why it was there it gives a false image, she said.
Though Pilato said he will still listen and take suggestions from the public about improvements to the mural he will not listen to the people who say Paterno should be removed from it as Sandusky was.
I will never take Joe out of the mural, he said.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan