Anderson murals restoration to begin

Ocean Springs, Mississippi (AP) January 2011

The Ocean Springs Community Center has been given approval to start the restoration of Walter Anderson murals.

The Mississippi Press reports that the city awarded the contract in December after the state Department of Archives and History approved the renovations. The center has raised $500,000 for the work.

The center, connected to the Walter Anderson Museum, has been listed as a Mississippi Landmark since 1990. It was built in 1950 and painted by Anderson in 1951.

Anderson designed the 2,500-square-foot murals to represent the history of Ocean Springs, depicting the Native American culture and the landing of the French explorers in 1699.

Officials say the murals are now valued at nearly $30 million.

Mayor Connie Moran says the work should be completed by this summer.