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Cowichan Valley Citizen - Sunday March 18 2001
Baron to inspect Chemainus murals
By Scott Stanfield - Citizen Staff

The amazing murals of Chemainus originated in a few Romanian villages, where fresco murals that depict the history of each area have decorated the outer walls of monasteries for more than 400 years. Resident Karl Schutz was entranced by the idea and by 1982 the town became the first in North America to boast a mural when artist Frank Lewis painted the steam donkey. Many artists followed and the town now has 33 murals.

A highlight year was 1983, when Chemainus received international recognition with a first place in the New York-based Downtown Revitalization Awards.
"Over 100 communities in North America now have murals," said Schutz, who is currently negotiating with like-minded individuals in Japan and Poland.

"There should be two or three more countries involved (with the mural idea) in the next five years." Cities and towns in the United States, Australia and New Zealand have also initiated mural projects. Scotland is the latest country to pick up on the idea.

Dr. Gordon Prestoungrange, the Scottish Baron and philanthropist who sponsored the latest mural project in his homeland, is paying a visit Friday, March 23 to the Chemainus Theatre, where he will speak on the arts, tourism and marketing and how they pertain to Scotland and Chemainus. Prestoungrange is a founding member of the Global Mural Arts & Cultural Tourism Association.

The Chemainus Chamber of Commerce is inviting members of the public to join them in welcoming Dr. Gordon and the Prestoungrange clan with a special ceremony, which includes lunch.

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