World War II-era murals arrive in Hawaii

Artwork previously hung at Midway Atoll for 70 years

Published  5:45 PM HST Jul 10, 2013

Six World War II era murals made their way across 1,150 miles of ocean, leaving Midway Atoll and landing in their new home in Honolulu.

They'll eventually hang in the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. The 8-by-12-foot pieces of history were painted by Navy sailor Victor Nels Solander, who was stationed on the atoll in 1944.

His paintings reflect scenes from the war.

"They are essentially life drawings of things he could see in the bright Pacific sun and so it's a vision into a world that doesn't exist anymore," says Burl Burlingame, curator at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Solander's six works of art were displayed in a World War II theater on the Midway atoll for the past 70 years. The paintings are on loan to Hawaii for at least four years.

They were relocated from Midway in hopes of preservation and eventually will be on display for thousands of people to see.

"Things like this are invaluable, they're intangible, you can't really put a dollar amount on it. It's the sort of things that adds to the understanding of the world which our ancestors lived in," says Burlingame.

There's still a lot of work to be done before the paintings are put on display. We're told repairs are needed to stop deterioration.

The Pacific Aviation Museum also relies on donations and volunteers. If you'd like to help you can call them at 808-695-2231.

PHOTOS: Historic WWII murals from Midway
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Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

In a major historic preservation effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, six wall-sized original paintings that formerly hung in a World War II-era theater on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, arrived by ship Wednesday in Honolulu.


Click here to see more pictures of the mural arriving in Honolulu.

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