Imagine the Catholic Church painting over the Sistine Chapel walls and ceiling...
The world would not allow it! Even if the paint was falling off the walls (like in Da Vinci's Last Supper) we would find a way to preserve the work. Ironically, it was a Japanese TV network that donated over 4 million dollars to restore the Sistine Chapel frescoes in exchange for filming access.
This news that the LDS church will be removing the murals from the SLC and Manti temples feels like an unnecessary and devastating loss. This move is totally unexpected from an organization that places so much emphasis on heritage. The movement to sterilize, modernize and integrate Mormonism into the mainstream of christian culture moves forward, but at what cost?
I'm guessing the Parable of the Olive Tree (Jacob 5) was used to justify this decision. It feels like 21st century Mormonism is attempting to conquer 20th century Mormonism, after it attempted to conquer 19th century Mormonism. It is obviously necessary for organizations to molt as they grow, but this feels a bit more like self amputation. Within the specific sphere of Mormon art, I would argue it's a lot more like losing a limb or an eye than losing a layer of old dead skin.
My hope is that the murals are somehow preserved and put up for display in other more publically accessible locations.
The rest of Peggy's article can be found here: https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/03/12/lds-church-removes/
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