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04/22/92

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Officials seek return of Memorial Church mosaics

STANFORD - Restoration of a large section of mosaic that fell inside Memorial Church during the Loma Prieta earthquake got a big boost over the weekend when someone returned three large chunks apparently taken as souvenirs.

They were left inside the Memorial Church Round Room in a shopping bag.

As part of the $10-million reconstruction of the church, workers are trying to restore a large wing that broke off the northeast mosaic angel at the intersection of the transept and nave.

Project conservator Lesley Bone said the returned chunks, each approximately one foot square, are substantial pieces that "have made a big difference" in the jigsaw-puzzle process of putting the angel wing back together. The broken section measures about 2 feet by 10 feet.

Memorial Church administrator Diane Hill said that she and Dean of the Chapel Robert Gregg are "very grateful to the anonymous person" who returned the pieces.

She said that, after the quake, people took mosaic souvenirs "out of great affection for the church. But it would be an even greater expression of affection if they could please return the pieces."

Hill said no questions would be asked - "only bright, happy smiles will greet the return of these items."

Mosaic chunks - or even single tiles - can be delivered to the Round Room or to workers of the Dinwiddie Construction Co., the project contractor.

Bone said she would appreciate receiving pieces as soon as possible. Gaps in the angel wing will be filled in by new tiles from Venice, Italy. However, Bone said that she would like to restore the angel wing with original, rather than replacement, tiles.

Reconstruction of Memorial Church is expected to be complete at the end of September in time for the church to reopen around the start of fall quarter.

Fund raising for the church reconstruction is about $150,000 short of its $10 million goal, the Development Office said.

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