The LDS mural entitled The Purpose of Life, painted for the booth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) at the 1964 World’s Fair, has been located in the Hyde Park Chapel in London, England ever since. This image was hugely successful and popular receiving world wide recognition as it was used in Church curriculum, PR and evangelical pamphlets, on film strips and for other media world wide.
The Hyde Park Chapel is now slated to undergo massive renovation in anticipation of the 2012 Olympics in London. This renovation will involve demolition as they install Visitor Center style displays and the mural was slated to be destroyed. One of the problems of reusing the mural is its size: approximately 10′ x 30′. For the last 6 month there have been a going back and forth of discussion about keeping the mural but in the end, the church headquarters decided to decline.
That’s when several well energized people in the LDS Historical Department jumped into gear with the suggestion of donating the removed mural to one of the church schools. This met with a cautious favorable nod if all the details like budgets can fall into place. But the mural, once it is be removed and conserved, will be slated for donation to Brigham Young University Idaho, if all is successful. It is not known yet what they will do with the mural.
So, tomorrow, Wed. August 24th I’m catching a non stop to London. I arrive at noon on Thurs. and get over to the Hyde Park Chapel where I test the mural to determine the in’s and out’s of the removal and budget. I then have a meeting with the construction guys at about 3 pm… then, depending on our discussions of the details of the project we’ll see if I’m going to be there 1 day or for the next two weeks while I immediately remove the mural.
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