Last night, an art shop along Lee Highway debuted a brand new mural from a Spanish artist.
“I think it’s going to be a nice ‘talk of the town,'” said Jimmy Hakimi, who owns the business, KH Art & Framing. “It’s a nice art for the area. We are an art gallery so it makes sense.”
The shop is located at the busy intersection of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road, which made the building ideal for local officials looking to find a home for the public art that the Spanish Embassy was hoping to commission locally. The painter behind the new mural is Spanish artist David de la Mano.
“Hopefully it will bring some customers, but that wasn’t the main use,” said Hakimi, who has run the businesses for 33 years.
De la Mano is known for his monochromatic murals depicting groups of people fighting forces and fears, often intertwined with elements of nature like branches or animals.
His Arlington mural depicts ragtag groups of people marching forward with spindly flags upwards in an overgrown forest — inside of a person’s skull.
“He was a really fun artist to work with,” said Ginger Brown, vice president of the Lee Highway Alliance, which helped coordinate the project.
The Spanish embassy in D.C. had originally commissioned de la Mano for its own annual, mural project inside the embassy before looking for public art opportunities the artist could take advantage while in the area.
“It seems like it was a wonderful opportunity to have David’s work in Arlington,” said Ernesto Coro, a cultural affairs officer with the embassy who added the country liked to see “have the imprint of Spain” on the street.
The county has long sought to redevelop the area along Lee Highway, a mostly car-oriented stretch of parking lots and businesses between the East Falls Church Metro station and the Lyon Village neighborhood near Rosslyn. In 2016, the county-appointed Lee Highway Alliance released plans to study ways of transforming the region an “attractive, prosperous, safe, healthy, and livable main street community.”
“We’ve always wanted to incorporate public art into the corridor,” said Brown. “That includes temporary and permanent public art.”
Altogether she said the project cost around $7,000 — $6,000 of that went to de la Mano and another $1,000 went to buy the paint. Arlington developer BCN Homes covered the cost of the paint while the Spanish embassy and developer JBG Smith split the artist fees. Real estate firm Long & Foster sponsored Monday night’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The mural itself is titled “Changes Begins Within,” a title Brown said fits the corridor.
“It goes along with Lee Highway. It’s changing,” she said. “Our organization is a grassroots organization so we’re within. Change from within.”
Hakimi said the wall of his business at 4745 Lee Highway is usually repainted every five years, which means de la Mano’s mural may be only temporary.
“It’s possible that we keep it going,” he said. “As long as people like, we keep it.”
As ARLnow was first to report based on a tip, a girl was beaten in the country’s diplomatic residence in the Dover-Crystal neighborhood, but no arrest was made because the accused attacker, Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, has diplomatic immunity, Arlington police said.
Police responded to the 4000 block of 27th Road N. about 9:30 p.m. Monday after a female 911 caller said a man “hit her in the head with a chair,” and “there’s someone going crazy at her house,” according to scanner traffic.
The female victim was struck “several times,” police said Tuesday, leaving her with a head wound. She was transported to Virginia Hospital Center.
Reached at the diplomatic residence, Rebeca Maye, who identified herself as Nsue’s secretary, said the ambassador’s 16-year-old daughter was released from the hospital Wednesday. “She’s fine,” she said.
The ambassador has protections as a member of a foreign diplomatic mission, the State Department and police said.
“The subject has full diplomatic immunity and was not arrested,” ACPD said in a crime report issued Tuesday.
The U.S. State Department has informed the government of Equatorial Guinea of the reported crime and expects a response next week, a department representative said.
Governments can waive diplomatic immunity, as officials in the nation of Georgia chose to do in 1997 after a diplomat from the Eurasian country struck and killed a Maryland teenager in a crash after a night of drinking.
Photo via Flickr/Embassy of Equatorial Guinea
A girl was beaten with a chair leg in the diplomatic residence of Equatorial Guinea last night, police said Tuesday, but no arrest has been made because the alleged attacker is a diplomat.
The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. Monday on the 4000 block of 27th Road N., in Arlington’s tony Dover-Crystal neighborhood. Police were called to the home of Ambassador Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue after a female 911 caller reported that “there’s someone going crazy at her house” and a man “hit her in the head with a chair,” according to scanner traffic.
“I’ve been there before,” said a responding officer. “There have been previous calls from this address.”
The female victim was struck “several times,” police said. Paramedics transported her to Virginia Hospital Center with a head wound, but no arrests were made.
“The subject has full diplomatic immunity and was not arrested,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report today. Police said the assault was “domestic” in nature but declined to reveal the identity of the suspect.
“We won’t go in to those details at this time,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told ARLnow.com. “The State Department was notified by our officers and it’s in their hands at this point.”
An anonymous tipster who contacted ARLnow.com this morning, before news of the attack was made public, claimed that the ambassador — who was appointed last year after serving on the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union — was the attacker and that his teenager daughter was the victim.
Reached at the Equatorial Guinea embassy in D.C., Rebeca Maye, who identified herself as Ambassador Nsue’s secretary, said his 16-year-old daughter was brought to Virginia Hospital Center with a head injury, but added that it was “not very big.” Maye declined to answer questions about the alleged assault and said the ambassador would not be available for comment until later Tuesday night.
Equatorial Guinea is a small nation on the west coast of Africa. It has a population of just 650,000, but it’s one of sub-Sahara Africa’s largest oil producers, according to Wikipedia.
Neighbors of the diplomatic residence on 27th Street, who did not wish to be identified by name, said the family that lives there mostly “keeps to themselves” — but there have been some recent disturbances.
“A girl can sometimes be heard screaming foul language” from the home, one neighbor said. Another said police were called to the house a couple months ago when a man and a woman had a shouting match outside.
Andrea Swalec, Ethan Rothstein and Scott Brodbeck contributed to this report
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has offered Arlington County the use of prime land in the Courthouse area at no cost. The County Board is scheduled to vote on the lease agreement at its meeting this Saturday, May 18.
The two parcels of vacant land run along Clarendon Blvd, between N. Adams Street and N. Barton Street. The ROK Arlington Embassy Annex building lies adjacent to the land, but faces Wilson Blvd. The land parcels up for grabs currently house nothing but fenced asphalt and gravel lots.
The embassy reports that the space is only used a few times each year during large meetings. It decided to offer the land to the county as a goodwill gesture.
Terms of the lease would allow the county to use the land free of rent as long as it maintains the parcels. The county may use the property for any legal use, provided it notifies the embassy prior to changing the land use. Any permanent improvements on the land would first require consent from the embassy.
The lease agreement would be in effect for a minimum of two years and would continue until terminated by one of the parties. The county staff report indicates maintenance costs associated with the lease would be minimal and no significant fiscal impact is expected.
Although the county staff report recommends the Board approves the deal, so far no firm plan has been developed for the future of the land. The county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) performed a preliminary land analysis and came up with some potential uses and improvements to the property. CPHD is prepared to solicit public input on possible uses for the site.
Rob Yonick is sick and tired of people stealing his Canadian flag from outside his Yorktown home. He doesn’t know who’s doing it, he doesn’t know why they’re doing it, but he wants it to stop.
Despite the thefts, Yonick says l’Unifolié will still be proudly displayed for all to see this weekend, in time for the epic U.S.-Canada Olympic hockey matchup on Sunday.
“I’m going to put a flag in the window,” he said defiantly, adding that “there’s no doubt” Canada, backed by Pittsburgh Penguins star and Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby, will defeat the American team.
Yonick, a stout Canadian Embassy employee, first had his beloved Maple Leaf stolen this past Columbus Day. He chalked it up to misplaced patriotic fervor.
Undeterred, Yonick bought two new flags — a Canadian flag and an American flag — and bolted each flag to a column outside his stately N. Columbus St. house.
Earlier this week, the American flag disappeared, leaving only a bare, mangled flagpole. Then at some point on Thursday, the Canadian flag vanished, flagpole and all, leaving Yonick flummoxed.
“I don’t know if it’s kids playing a prank, or someone who doesn’t like Canada,” he said. After writing about it on Facebook, a friend suggested the Olympics might have something to do with it, a theory Yonick says is possible but unlikely.