One of the most distinctive features of the Libraries' building at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is the exciting mural by the famous Panamanian artist, Brooke Alfaro. Sadly, after heavy rains and leaking, the mural was seen to be bulging and considered in danger. Now the artist himself and others are actively repairing the mural. Here is a photograph of the work being done by painter, Brooke Alfaro (gray t-shirt) and worker. You can see more photos of the restoration and how the mural looked before the damage on the Libraries' flickr.
As Librarian Vielka Chang Yau reports, “The mural has become dislodged quite more than just the part where the bulge was. You can see the space between the wall and the mural. There is no water in the space between the mural and the wall. That probably was all taken out when Engineer Carlos Tejada perforated the wall and water came as if you had turned on the hose.”
Brooke did the original painting, which was taken to Mexico to be digitized. It came back as 27 boxes of Venetian squares.
We will keep you posted as the work progresses.
Mary Augusta Thomas, Photos courtesy of Vielka Chang-Yau and Ricardo Beteta.