Environment & Science

Prado Dam's '200 Years of Freedom' mural must stay up for now, judge says

The "200 Years of Freedom" mural.
Friends of the Prado Dam Mural

A bicentennial mural on the Prado Dam in Corona will stay up for now, although Army Corps engineers want to remove it. Riverside's Judge Jesus Bernal issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the Army Corps from doing anything to it, although they say the mural has lead in the paint.

Ron Kammeyer helped paint the patriotic mural and has a lawsuit pending against the Army Corps because he says the mural, commonly known as "200 Years of Freedom," has historical significance and should not be taken down. The Army Corps has said the mural cannot be restored. 

Judge Bernal said the Army Corps failed to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act by not completely evaluating the mural to determine its artistic significance, according to Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mrozek said the judge has given the Army Corps some steps that should be done under the law.

"The judge has not made any firm conclusions," Mrozek said. For now, the judge will preserve the mural until it is evaluated and a decision can be made. Mrozek said the case will continue to be litigated. 

"I think it's fair to say it's going to be months," Mrozek said. "The question is how many months will it be, I just don't know at this point and time."