The Associated Press has picked up the dispute between Paul Rosen, who wants to paint a mural on a parking lot near Rittenhouse Square, and his neighbors, who apparently believe public art is beneath them. The dispute was covered in depth last month by Philadelphia Magazine.

The mural has been designed by Michael Webb, who also did the lovely mural facing our own parking lot, a part of which you can see here at night. (Unsurprisingly, Slade McLaughlin’s lights are still on.)

Both articles lay the elitism thick on the opponents; I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they haven’t made that easy, and haven’t made clear why they’re actually opposed. If you’re not going to voice the specifics of your opposition to something as presumably unobjectionable as a privately-paid public arts project then people are going to assume the worst, an assumption reinforced by anonymous ad hominem attacks like this one:

Elitism aside, a few people thought that Paul Rosen’s allegorical tribute to Justice was actually a thinly disguised advertisement for his law firm. “I can’t imagine that [Paul] would not put his name on it,” says one person who was at the Ethical Society meeting. “That’s a form of advertising and opens the door to other things. The next thing you know, they’ll put up something showing a little boy run over by an automobile or a doctor removing the wrong leg or something like that, and the phone number of some law firm.”

Please. If there’s some reference to the Spector, Gadon & Rosen Foundation down by the artist’s signature, then so be it. The same is true for virtually every privately-funded public arts project in the country, and, if I recall correctly, most of the benches in Rittenhouse Square.

While we’re at it, is that anonymous commentator in favor of negligently running over children or amputating healthy limbs? Is there something wrong with either of those parties recovering compensation for their devastating losses?