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47. Murals Are Over 200 Years Old
Two men chanced upon a trap door in
back room of a historic church near San
. They discovered 23 religious murals painted by Native
more than 200 years ago. The murals record
from the Bible. Arthur Anderson, an artist, and
Bush, a painter, had been to the church
times before. But they were not aware of
trap doors in the building.
The only reason
discovered it was that Arthur dropped a coin
the floor while pulling a small knife out
his pants pocket. He heard the coin hit
floor and roll. He started searching. A minute
, he found his dime. “Gotcha!” he said proudly.
then he saw what looked like an unusual
in the floor board. With his knife, he
digging around the gap.
The floor board suddenly
. Arthur felt that he was onto something. He
the floor board and saw a rope handle
to what looked like a trap door. Eric
Arthur remove four more floor boards. Then Arthur
open the trap door.
Beneath it was a
in the ground about 15 feet long, 10
wide, and 2 feet deep. They shined a
into the hole and saw the murals. They
not wrapped, covered, or otherwise protected. Yet they
in wonderful condition, according to Eric.
work in mysterious ways,” said Arthur. The murals
only the colors black, red, and yellow. The
are about 12 by 12 inches, and the
are about 24 by 24 inches. Digital photographs
taken of all the murals before they were
onto a truck.
All 23 murals, created about
, are now at the Museum of Native American
. They will be inspected, cleaned, archived, and examined
experts. They will not be put on public
until early next year. Museum officials expect a
turnout when that day occurs. “This is truly
,” said one official. “I wonder how many more
are out there waiting for someone to drop
dime on them.”