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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tiger Spot to reopen

Oct. 29, 2004

Three years after its unveiling, Tiger Spot could see the light of day again on Monday.

Workers on the mural said Tiger Spot would be re-unveiled Nov. 1, after being shown for Homecoming in October 2001.

It's unlikely students would get too close to the Italian glass mural. Under orders from the university, workers installed steel poles around Tiger Spot to prevent students and visitors from walking on the massive mural.

The mural, designed by local artist Paul Jackson, made of about 12,000 to 15,000 tiles, resembles the head of a tiger.

Volunteer Tom Edwards said university officials decided to set up permanent poles to encircle Tiger Spot during the restoration process. Apparently, after past damage to the work, MU administration was not willing to take any chances, Edwards said.

When Tiger Spot originally opened three years ago, it was paid for by private donations and artist Paul Jackson worked for free. A new drainage system was installed on Lowry Mall after water damage to Tiger Spot, which cost MU $11,000.

Due to the water damage and the wear and tear of general traffic, officials were forced to rope off Tiger Spot for repair. Edwards said no one initially expected the work to be trampled so much. He also said a snowplow ran over the tile during the winter of 2001, harming the work considerably.

Senior Shayla Ayers said she witnessed harm done to Tiger Spot.

"Every time somebody would step on it, you could actually hear it cracking," Ayers said. "I'm glad they finally decided to do something to save the tiger."

In addition to the poles around Tiger Spot, the work has been sealed with a glossy coating to prevent deterioration from weather conditions. Also, an outer ring was installed around the outside to interlock the mosaic and the base.

"I think it was a good idea for the university to go to extreme measures to protect Tiger Spot," said Ralph McCoy, a junior interdisciplinary studies major. "We need to preserve the art at Mizzou."

For those who still want to contribute to the work, Edwards said the administration would start accepting donations in spring 2005.

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