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Boone County Commission to hear public input on courthouse murals

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Boone County Commission will hear from the public Tuesday night on courthouse murals that a group of lawyers is pushing to have removed.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the commission chambers at the Boone County Government Center.

The issue of removing the murals came to public attention this month when the lawyers, led by Rusty Antel and Gary Oxenhandler, asked the county commission to remove them from the courthouse because of the violence they depict. The lawyers say the depictions in some of the murals, which hang on landings of the courthouse staircase, of people being whipped and hanged sends the wrong message to people either visiting the courthouse or defending themselves in a criminal case.

The county installed the murals painted by Sid Larson 25 years ago. One painting shows people whipping a person tied to a tree, and a group of people cutting someone down from a hanging. The murals also depict instances of slave labor, including two people carrying a plank of wood for the construction of the county courthouse. Another shows Bill Callahan, one of the county's first settlers and an "Indian hunter" according to county commission minutes from 1994, pointing a gun at a Native American in a tree.

ABC 17 News Team

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