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What would Minerva look like if we cut her in half?

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If you know anything about KWC, you probably know about Minerva. (If you don’t, she’s a statue on campus that gets painted by students. A lot. More on how and why here.) Here’s what she looks like, at least in one of her incarnations over the last couple of years:


She’s been on campus since we moved to Owensboro in 1951. However, we do blast the paint layers off occasionally. See these photos for evidence of what she looks like naked, from a couple of months ago.

Imagine for a moment, though, that we didn’t strip her down. What would a cross section of 60 years of accumulated paint look like?

Probably something like this:

paint layers

This is a composite photomicrograph of a rock at the main intersection in White Rock, New Mexico. The rock is painted often — usually a few times a week — as a community tradition. You know, like Minerva. 

A couple of guys got to wondering what all the paint layers from the last 40 years looked like, so they took a core sample on the front of the rock. Turns out the paint was five-and-a-half inches thick!

You can view the original size for full effect. And here’s the long view, as well as an explanation of how they got the photo. And here’s a photo of the entire rock, in case you were wondering — she’s larger than Minerva.

Maybe we should just let Minerva’s paint layers accumulate over the next 50 years or so. Then our grandkids can do a paint sample of her and we can say, “Hey, some of those paint layers were mine!”

(HT: Kottke)

  1. Jacqueline D. says:

    Interesting. My grandmother’s name was Minerva.

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