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Mural on Boston landmark to be removed

A giant mural that mysteriously appeared last fall on the former John Hancock building is being taken down, according to the artist’s website.
A giant mural that mysteriously appeared last fall on the former John Hancock building is being taken down, according to the artist’s website.Barry Chin/globe staff/file 2015

When the giant mural mysteriously appeared on the reflective windows of the former John Hancock building last fall, it sparked an immediate buzz.

The gray-and-white image of a man in shorts, splashed across the glass canvas, became an object of intense curiosity, and was so well-received it remained on the Back Bay skyscraper for months.

But now the mural’s popular tenure is coming to a close.

“Last day of the piece in Boston . . . They started taking it down,’’ the mural’s artist, who goes by the name “JR,” posted on his website Wednesday.

The mural was installed by Boston Properties Inc., the real estate company that owns the Boston landmark now known as 200 Clarendon Street. Nearly 90 feet tall, it stood between the building’s 44th and 50th floors, drawing many craned necks and quizzical looks.

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Bryan Koop, executive vice president at Boston Properties, said the mural was meant to be on display for just six weeks, but had its run extended “due to positive feedback from the general public.”

“We are thrilled to have had JR temporarily use the building as a canvas for his thoughtful piece and thrilled to be engaging Bostonians in a conversation about public art,” he said.

Who knows, public art may again grace the iconic building, Koop hinted.

“We look forward to continuing the conversation in the future,” he said.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.