RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The battle over a mural in a historic Jackson Ward neighborhood is over after the City of Richmond decided the work of art can stay.

The mural is located on Monroe Street in the Jackson Ward area, and was at the center of Tuesday’s Commission of Architectural Review (CAR) meeting.

The idea to put up the work of art came from the homeowner, Josh Shaheen, and was meant to tackle the issue of unwanted graffiti in the neighborhood. Shaheen teamed up with Ian Hess, a local business owner for the project, and the mural was put up by street artists Bustart and Nils Westergard. After the mural had been up for a few months, Shaheen said there was no graffiti in sight.

But back in February, 8News spoke with Shaheen after he was notified by the City that the mural went against historical preservation efforts and required approval.

At the time Shaheen was not aware that his property was part of a historic neighborhood and immediately requested permission. But his request was deferred, and he was later told he had 30 days to find a way for the mural to be taken down or he had to appeal the decision.

“It almost adds insult to injury that they want me to be the one to test it and like try to remove it all,” Shaheen said.

Josh Shaheen’s property on Monroe Street before and after he added a mural to cover existing graffiti. The City worried the paint would damage the historic brick building. (Photos courtesy of Josh Shaheen)

CAR members said they were worried that the paint could harm the historic brick, but Shaheen later learned the removal project — which would cost him more than $10,000 — could potentially do even more harm to the brick.

Many Richmond residents did not want to see the mural go, including Hess, who created the mural with Shaheen.

“Don’t take down this mural,” Hess told 8News in February. “You’re going to have to tear me away from it, I’ll tell you.”

At the time, Shaheen had until Feb. 24 to find a removal solution or appeal the decision. But on Tuesday, March 28, the City decided how to move forward.

After reviewing Shaheen’s findings regarding the potential damage to the brick and hearing from community members, CAR ultimately decided that the mural would stay and that a lining would be added around the top of the wall and the chimneys. This lining will help protect the brick from getting wet, which could potentially expose its vulnerable areas and cause water damage.

CAR also said they would be open to taking this opportunity to learn more about what is and is not safe for historic brick.

There is no set timeline for when the lining will be added, but CAR plans to meet with Shaheen on Wednesday to discuss the next steps.