Friday, May 13, 2011

Ochs Mural Photo Gone from Market Wall

Photo mural of the Pierce and Schurr meat stall
comes from same era as the missing Ochs photo
The 1940s photo mural of Harry Ochs and his father, which adorned the wall alongside the butcher stall, was among the items take by Nick "Ochs" Finocchio when he decamped in the dead of night May 2 from the Reading Terminal Market. It now awaits hanging at Nick's new digs, the Main Street Market in Manayunk.

The large historic print, like others scattered throughout the market, was made in the 1980s under the auspices of David K. O'Neil, general manager of the market when it was still owned by The Reading Company.  So when Nick took the physical print, he was taking something that didn't belong to him.

At the same time, the original photo probably came from the Ochs family, so if that's true, when Nick told me "It's my photo" he would be correct, in the sense that it's his intellectual property. Of course, when the Ochses permitted the market to reproduce the photo, they were essentially granting permission to the market to use the photograph in public. And while I imagine a lawyer would say the family has the right to prohibit the market from publicly displaying the photo, they don't have the right to walk off with a print that the market paid to make and mount.

All these legal niceties aside, it's too bad that the only physical remnant of the Ochs business left behind is the lettering signage on the meat hook posts. It's almost as sad as the fact that Nick and market management couldn't find a way to keep the business going within the historic market.

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