SARASOTA (WWSB) - “They’ll have to kill me first, it’s not coming down,” said Millie Francis, a Bradenton homeowner.
The 85-year-old is talking about a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe that’s on the front of her home. The property manager at Bradenton Tropical Palms, a 55 plus community, is telling her she has to tear it down because she was told that she didn’t follow proper protocol in getting the painting approved.
“Lot of sleepless nights for sure, I try to keep busy so I don’t think of it, but it’s hard to do when you have somebody on your back all the time,” said Francis.
The painting was created by her and another person. It’s on a piece of plywood where her front window used to be. She received a letter from the property’s law firm giving her 30 days to tear down the painting or face legal action. Those 30 days are up in just a few days.
“I could take it down put a dolphin up like others or a gecko or whatever but I was inspired more for this,” said Francis.
Francis says she is being discriminated against because of her Catholic faith. There are some neighbors who are opposed to it while others who are in support of her and the painting.
“It’s a shame that anybody has to go through something like this," said Anita Hosier, a resident of the Bradenton Tropical Palms. She’s not trying to be vindictive to anybody or hurt anybody.”
We did catch up with the property manager at her home, but she did not want to comment. Francis says this has been an ongoing battle since April.
“I just hope everybody out there who is for me will fight for me, no matter what,” said Francis.