The rise and fall of Peoria's Cookie Monster

Peoria artist Joshua Hawkins was commissioned to paint a mural in Peoria, Illinois. The work had to be completed over Thanksgiving weekend, and he would be well paid. The requested art was of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster, holding a cookie with the caption "Peace, Land, and Cookies" in Russian. So Hawkins did the work, on a building owned by Nate Comte.

Nate Comte, the owner of a commercial building at 1301 NE Adams in Peoria, Illinois, was none too pleased to show up there shortly after Thanksgiving to find a giant Cookie Monster mural on the side of the place, stretching about 30 feet long and 16 feet high. He called up local artist Joshua Hawkins, who had, with the help of some friends, painted the mural over the holiday weekend.

"Are you the one that painted my f*ckin' building?" he demanded to know, in Hawkins's recollection. (Comte had gotten the artist's number from business cards he handed out to passersby during the project.)

Hawkins was shocked. As far as he knew, it was Comte who had commissioned the mural in the first place.

The mystery man who had hired Hawkins had said he was Comte, and Hawkins had been paid in full. The real Comte was so mad that he quickly painted over the mural, so it only existed for about a week. However, art lovers of Peoria and elsewhere have turned the now-white wall into a shrine, mourning the loss of Cookie Monster. There was also backlash against Comte. Comte now plans to commission a local artist to paint a different mural on the wall. We still don't know who paid for the first mural.

[via Metafilter]