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Giant Mural Welcoming Pope Francis Going Up In Midtown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A larger-than-life welcome for Pope Francis is going up in Midtown.

A crew has been working from sunrise to sunset on a 225-foot-tall welcome mural at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, just outside Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.

The painting process is expected to take up to two weeks, CBS2 reported.

The pope will be in New York from Sept. 24 through Sept. 26.

He will attend evening prayer at St. Patrick's Cathedral, address the U.N. General Assembly, host an interfaith service at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, visit Our Lady Queen of Angels school in East Harlem and celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden.

A stop in Central Park may also be on the agenda.

The Archdiocese of New York is in serious discussions to have the pope's motorcade pass through part of the park, WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported Thursday.

The goal is to give more people the opportunity to see Francis up close, as tickets to his scheduled events are limited.

"He is very different than his predecessors, very different than anything we've ever dealt with from a security standpoint," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa last week. "We, at all times, would like to keep him in a bubble. That's how we tend to operate in New York. The pope, I think has shown quite clearly that he doesn't want to be contained in a bubble. So, we're going to have to find common ground that he's satisfied that he's comfortable and we're satisfied that we can protect him."

A decision could be announced in the next couple of days.

Francis will also visit Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

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