A historic University of Louisiana Monroe American Indian mosaic has been torn down but will be preserved while the Student Union Building undergoes major renovation.
The mosaic, a more than 40-year-old image of a Ouachita American Indian, was cut off the building in pieces and will be restored in a prominent location on campus once the renovations are complete, said Tommy Walpole, Louisiana-Monroe’s director of alumni relations.
About 80 percent of the artwork is in large pieces. The rest will be more of a challenge to piece back together, Walpole said. “It’ll be a labor of love.”
The mosaic came down this week, the same day the university hosted its first committee meeting that could result in the school changing its “Indians” mascot. ULM was one of 18 schools which the NCAA ordered to stop using American Indian mascots, images and logos in February 2006.
Student Government Association Vice President Heather Brandle said the mosaic is a difficult loss for the campus, especially if the mascot is ultimately changed. However, she said most students are excited about a new and improved Student Union.
“I thought it was a beautiful mural, and I’m going to miss seeing it and the school spirit represented,” Brandle said. “But the results are going to be fantastic.”
— Associated Press
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