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Are there plans to restore the archaeology mural on the side of a building on Frenchmen Street? 

Blake Pontchartrain: N.O. Know It All

click to enlarge Greater New Orleans Archaeology Program and the UNO Department of Anthropology
  • Greater New Orleans Archaeology Program and the UNO Department of Anthropology

Hey Blake,

Are there plans to restore the archaeology mural on the side of a building on Frenchmen Street?

Dear Reader,

  The mural formerly located at the corner of Chartres and Frenchmen streets was titled Neighborhood Archaeology. It was painted in 1986 by local artist Rain Webb, who painted many murals in the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter, as well as the festive truck that sits outside Jacques-Imo's Restaurant on Oak Street.

  Webb asked Phillipe Blenet, who owned the property in the 1980s, if he could paint a mural on the side of the building to pay tribute to the history and culture of New Orleans. The art featured a gray-haired archaeologist sifting through relics of the community. Lying before him were his tools: a pick, a book and a vase.

  Over the years, the mural faded and was covered with graffiti. Eventually, it was painted over completely. The new Dat Dog Restaurant, which was built on the empty lot adjacent to where the mural was, has a floor-to-ceiling mural on the second floor by artists Monica and Madeleine Kelly. Painted from the perspective of someone standing in the formerly vacant lot, it pays homage to the lively characters of Frenchmen Street: musicians, hula hoopers and street performers. It also includes another relic from the past, the sign from Cafe Brasil, the once-vibrant music club across the street from the lot.

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