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Corona dam's bicentennial mural too degraded for historic listing

Corona dam's bicentennial mural too degraded for historic listing
The Prado Dam with its bicentennial mural in 2005. The Army Corps of Engineers says the huge mural is ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. (Chris Carlson / AP)

The Army Corps of Engineers says a huge mural that was painted on a Riverside County dam for the nation's bicentennial is ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Corps said Tuesday that the keeper of the register determined that the mural on the spillway of Prado Dam has lost physical integrity and is no longer able to convey its historic character or significance.

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The mural, completed by high schoolers in 1976, shows the phrase “200 YEARS OF FREEDOM,” a Liberty Bell silhouette and the dates “1776-1976.”

The mural was assessed for the register after the Corps announced plans to remove it due to the presence of lead paint.

The keeper of the register found that loss of original paint, massive overpainting and graffiti severely altered its design and intent.

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