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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A splashy painting of Larry Bird with tattoos on his face, arms and neck is generating fresh controversy for an already controversial artist.

(Photo By Tyler Kraft/IndyStar)

After Bird spotted a mural of himself on a Fountain Square building, painted by graffiti and street artist Jules Muck, he wasn’t exactly thrilled.

It was him, a massive him in a powder blue Indiana State uniform, tattooed up with bunnies mating on his right forearm, a spiderweb on his left shoulder and a red cardinal on his cheek.

Bird didn’t like the tattoos, said his attorney, Gary Sallee.

“Larry’s position is he has elevated himself from where he began to where he is now through a lot of hard work. He has developed a brand that is marketable and he needs to protect that brand,” Sallee told IndyStar. “The mural, as originally painted, was a departure from that brand.”

Bird didn’t ask that the mural be removed entirely, Sallee said. “He has not been heavy- handed at all.”

And because of Bird’s willingness to compromise, Sallee said, he believes an agreement was reached between Bird and Muck Tuesday.

He expects that the mural will remain on the building — but with all tattoos removed except the word “Indiana” spelled out on Bird’s left forearm.

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