Preservation News: Mortars, Murals, and Monuments

As the title for this week’s Preservation News suggests, there was quite a bit of news in the preservation world to update you on.

In eastern Tennessee, a 16-lbs Coehorn mortar round was placed on exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Harrogate, Tennessee. Found at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), the round was discovered as construction crews were moving a road for a new Chick-Fil-A on campus. This was no surprise for LMU, because of its location near the Cumberland Gap. In total, officials have found over 30 mortar rounds on LMU’s campus.

Earlier this month, Smithsonian Magazine featured an extensive article on the restoration of the Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama by the Atlanta History Center. At 317.2 feet long, 49 feet high, and weighing 9,400 pounds, this piece of art has captured the public’s interest for over 130 years, including that of Gone With The Wind’s stars, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. For three years now, the Atlanta Cyclorama has been undergoing a daunting, and expensive at $35 million, restoration by the team at the Atlanta History Center. In February 2019, you will be able to see the painting just as it was intended to – as an experience.

Restoration crews work on the Cyclorama’s skies. Courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine and Joshua R. McFadden.

Lastly, on December 3, officials at the University of North Carolina announced a proposal to place their removed and damaged Confederate monument ‘Silent Sam’ in a new University History and Education Center. The University offered to create historical markers, evaluate the current historical landscape, conduct research on a possible permanent collection facility for UNC’s history, and develop an online orientation program. That evening, many UNC students protested in response to the monument’s proposed relocation. According to state law, Confederate monuments that are removed must be relocated to a similar site with honor. The proposal still needs approval by the University board.

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