Edward Biberman's 1941 mural "Story of Venice" is in the process of being restored as part of producer Joel Silver's transformation of the historic Venice Post Office into a state-of-the-art film headquarters.
Situated in the former lobby of the 1939 post office, the colorful mural depicts Abbot Kinney, the founder of Venice, Calif., overlooking his emporium by the sea.
Art conservationist Nathan Zakheim said the mural has suffered some minor damage, but it is in "near-perfect" condition.“We are cleaning it and preserving it to give it life for the next 100 years,” he told TheWrap. “We will remove it and remount it on aluminum honeycomb to preserve it. It is hard to say how long it will take exactly.”
Zakheim will use the same resin used to preserve Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel murals. “It will be 30 times stronger once we have done it,” said the art conservationist, who has worked on a number of other renovations in the city, including a mural at the Los Angeles mayor's residence and 17 of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic murals.
Silver announced at a news conference Wednesday that he plans to hold a series of lectures on Biberman, who died in 1986, in front of the mural after the work is completed. He also hopes to allow other groups, such as the Los Angeles Conservancy, to have access to the historical artwork.
“We can open this up to the community and allow them access to the mural,” he said.
“I am so looking forward to what this place will become, how it celebrates Venice and revitalizes Venice and allows people to see this mural,” he added. “We inherited the mural. I remember seeing it and thinking about it, and thinking that is a beautiful piece of art and thought that this could be a special part of our identity.”