A Lawrence University relic has recently resurfaced. Pieces of a mural that sat behind the carder’s table, stolen from the Viking Room (VR) on February 15, 1977, were mysteriously found in an Appleton garage.
The reemergence of this once sentimental favorite is as mysterious as the original disappearance. News of the stolen mural was met with a ransom note, outlining a variety of demands including: 25,000 A’s and “five nights of hard drinking” sentenced to those who work more than twenty hours a week.”
Many theories originally surrounded the theft. All were disproved when the alleged thieves wrote an anonymous Lawrentian article stressing that the mural was stolen simply because “this campus is too damn dead.”
While this piece was once referred to as “the darling of Lawrence,” time really seems to heal all wounds. After over thirty years of loss, current Lawrentians know little about the scandal.
“I don’t see it as a victory because I never saw it as a loss,” said senior Zach Martin, one of the managers of the VR, who was born almost twenty years after the mural was stolen.
Despite this, Martin is able to appreciate the significance of the VR. “One of the coolest things about the VR is that it doesn’t really change, which connects past and present students,” Martin said.
While the bar is still here, a lot of past policies are not in place. In the seventies and eighties, pitchers were given out for free and bartenders didn’t charge their friends, resulting in significant financial loss. After new management took over, the VR suffered a loss in patronage.
“Lawrence has kept it going in hopes of offering a safer alternative to the bars on College Avenue. Now new management like Kevin and Jason have put in a lot of hard work to make it a more sustainable business, making students want to come. I think it is a great investment,” emphasized Martin.
With this, Martin hopes to reclaim the bar’s stolen art.
“While I don’t feel a personal huzzah, if we get the pieces of the mural back we would definitely put them back up. It is like history returning,” stressed Martin.