VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Sam Welty, an artist whose iconic mural was painted over at a Virginia Beach hotel, says he won't be allowed to repaint it.

Welty painted the mural, 'Great America Number 1- A Tribute to American Heroes' in 2002 on the wall of the former Flagship Inn (now Howard Johnson Hotel).

In November 2015, new management of the hotel decided to paint over the mural, erasing it completely.

Welty has been fighting to repaint the mural, and at one point seemed optimistic as he says the owner of the hotel was willing to have him paint another one if he raised his own money for the project.

Now, despite fundraising efforts, Welty says hotel owner won't give him access to the wall to repaint the mural.

Welty says he still is not giving up on the idea, although is starting to look at other prospective places for the mural.