After a real estate investor bought their building, the directors of Chicago community group Casa Aztlan are trying to determine how to transfer their historic murals to a new location.
The main room of this famous community center located in the Pilsen neighborhood contains murals painted in the 1970s by artist Ray Patlan.
The seven panels reflect the history of Mexican-Americans, including the struggle of United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez.
Also represented on its walls are the emblematic figures of Mexican independence heroes Miguel Hidalgo, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.
"These murals are the history of the Pilsen community when Casa Aztlan was established in 1970. With it started the mural movement which has been a very interesting movement, especially in the '70s and a little in the '80's, with the old Mexican school of Siqueiros, De Rivera and Orozco," executive director Carlos Arango told Efe.
Arango said that losing these murals would be a "loss for humanity because it's the history of a social movement; it's the presence of the Mexican community, its growth."
The operation to buy the center is due to be completed on Aug. 8 and then Casa Aztlan representatives will ask for six to 10 months to relocate their building.
Oscar Romero, an artist and expert at rescuing murals, told Efe that it's possible to preserve the works and transfer them to a wood panel and then place them in another institution, like the Chicago Historical Society, which preserves items from the history of the city's different ethnic neighborhoods.
Romero, who came to Pilsen in 1987 from Mexico City, said that it would cost about $10,000 to save the historic murals. EFE