A mural honoring tennis legend and Richmond native Arthur Ashe in Battery Park has been restored after some vandals defaced it in October of 2021.
The mural was originally unveiled in 2017 by Sir James Thornhill, one of the lead artists behind the painting, in collaboration with Hamilton Glass and the U.N.I.T.Y Street Project.
"When they [first] took me to the tunnel, I was like, 'Wow, this is going to be a great idea. The first tunnel work in Virginia.' I couldn't wait, and then it was on. It was inspirational," said Thornhill. "Arthur Ashe, Maggie Walker and people you don't hear much about [are] on these walls. It's just immortalizing them. It's like putting hieroglyphics on the walls so people can come in and be educated."
A video surfaced in 2022 of two people vandalizing the mural, putting symbols referencing the white supremacist group Patriot Front over Ashe's face at the entrances to the park's basketball and tennis courts. The vandals were also seen painting over excerpts about his life which were written on the tunnel.