Downtown mural set to be safely disassembled

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The stone mural in downtown Chatham is going to have a chance at finding a new home.

Chatham Coun. Derek Robertson entered a successful motion to allocate $5,000 for the safe disassembly of the mural and storage until a decision can be made on the restoration costs and new location.

Dan Warrener, the owner of the Downtown Chatham Centre, is doing renovations around the downtown mall and wants to remove the mural in order to continue this work.

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Don Shropshire, municipal CAO, said staff has been working on this since the fall.

“It has been a very time consuming piece,” he said. “(Warrener) made the request back in the fall. We have an obligation to give Mr. Warrener an answer.”

Staff had given council two options, the first recommending that the mural be moved and placed at Kingston Park in Chatham at a cost of $60,000. The other option was to set aside $1,000 and have the mural dismantled and discarded.

Chatham Coun. Anne Gilbert said the $60,000 was “kind of a shock.

“It has been a significant part of the downtown … why wasn’t it in budget? Why wasn’t it a part of the land transfer agreement. It is a significant part of Chatham history,” Gilbert said.

Mayor Randy Hope said it is not possible to move the mural in one piece.

“We need to assess the restoration,” he said. “The key is to take it down.”

Dover farmers Henry and Lila Faubert created the mural in 1989 as a memorial to their son Larry, who died of muscular dystrophy several years earlier.

The mural depicts a panorama of church steeples, roads, farm machinery, highways and the Thames River.

Warrener requested the mural be removed by the end of March.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Disgusting that this couple who spent a lot of money on this display to the memory of their son. It is now going to be discarded like he didn't exist. Shame on Chatham that didn't include this a clause in the agreement. I thank Dan Warriner for his investment in CK. Please don't take the Heart and Soul of people who have invested their time and energy to make memorials. Does this mean in a few years that we can dismantle Perry Molema's memorial garden. Absolutely disgustedby our council. Fire them all. Yes Dan, as a member of our community you have an obligation to maintain existing memorials to the people of CK.

  2. My question is, Why do the taxpayers of chatham-kent have to pay a cent towards this? Since Warrener owns the building, he should be paying the costs! This municipality is becoming the biggest "sinkhole" of Ontario!

  3. Linda, I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but why do you think that, just because someone spent a lot of money on this for their sons memory…..That now it becomes everyone else's responsibility to maintain it?
    I'm just saying that it is NOT the citizens of chatham-kent to pay for this! In fact Warrener had the most to gain from it!

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