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Published March 23, 2012, 06:39 PM

Hidden mural revealed in Grant County Courthouse

Elbow Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - Hidden art, kept secret possibly since the 1950's, is unveiled in Grant County. The discovery was made during a restoration project of the courthouse, which was built in 1905.

Hidden art, kept secret possibly since the 1950's, is unveiled in Grant County. The discovery was made during a restoration project of the courthouse, which was built in 1905.

The Grant County Courthouse towers over the city of Elbow Lake, a slice of history from the 20th century.

Patty Benson - Grant Co. Historical Society Director: “A point of pride for the county. Anybody driving through Elbow Lake, anybody from any direction, you notice it right away.”

About $4 million in restoration work began last summer. In February workers encountered a problem in the courtroom; a problem that soon turned into a pleasant surprise.

Jim Standish – Grand County Coordinator: "They discovered the ceiling actually contained asbestos which required us to abate the asbestos ceiling and once we did that the mural was revealed.

The mural depicts a symbol of justice and law. It's been covered up for decades some suspect for acoustical reasons.

Jim Standish: "It probably was very loud in here and probably when they started recording things, the recorders probably didn't pick up on all the speech properly."

The mural spans 25 by 30 feet. Standish hopes to get grant funds to restore it and other art throughout the courthouse.

Jim Standish: "I think it's just a way of remembering that we just didn't come here yesterday that we have some important background and connections with history and I think we should remember that and retain it."

Aside from fixing the courtroom, crews also replaced the windows and roof among other things. The courthouse is expected to reopen in about five weeks.

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