The Community of Manitowoc has spoken. The Budweiser Beer Bottles will be saved. A massive advertisement somehow avoided any Manitowoc signage laws for over 30 years and when the ad came under threat of removal when the plant was bought by another company, the neighborhood rose up to protect the beer bottles. Advertising always seems to have an easier ride than murals. It can be mass produced. It is paid for by large corporations with deep pockets. They don’t seem to require community consent or a serious approval process. Outside of the most raunchy and racist ads, the public generally seems to accept them as part of the natural landscape, and even as in the case of Manitowoc, begin to identify with them. When ads become accepted as artwork, corporations can skirt signage laws and create huge monuments to their products. If only it was this easy to create monuments to our community and neighborhood (s)heroes. But, alas, the “heroes” we are shown in the the media are already there in the advertisements. Will our society ever get to the point where the level of exposure that an image receives is not in direct correlation to the amount of money someone can make off of it?

MANITOWOC — The Anheuser-Busch beer mural will be saved.

Manitowoc Mayor Justin M. Nickels and representatives of Riverland Ag announced Monday morning that discussions have led to the decision to preserve the mural painted on Riverland Ag’s property, most commonly referred to as the Anheuser-Busch bottles.

The mural depicts one Budweiser beer bottle and two cans.

“I was proud to work cooperatively and respectfully with Riverland Ag to preserve this historic landmark within the city of Manitowoc,” Nickels said in a press release. “I have received well over 1,100 emails in the past 48 hours from citizens, former citizens and visitors encouraging this iconic landmark to remain.”

The city is taking a new approach to historic murals and signs, specifically downtown, said Nickels, who more than a month ago sent a proposed ordinance to the Manitowoc City Council which would allow for such historic murals in the community.

“The citizens have spoken; however, we all need to realize that in order to preserve this historic mural it will require maintenance, which comes at a cost.” Nickels said. “I will be starting a fundraising effort, hopefully with the support of the community, to maintain this well into the future.”

Filed by the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter