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'Body' found on mural in NDP office

A body has been found in the Parliament Hill office of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

Authorities say identification has been difficult because of the deteriorated condition of the corpse, which resembled broccoli.

OK, the "body" is just an artist's rendering of a fallen knight, uncovered during restoration work on the magnificent murals that adorn the upper walls of the official Opposition leader's office.

But it's nevertheless a finding of historic significance that adds to the mystique of an office already known for other peculiarities, most of which can be traced to its original occupant, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada's longest-serving and most eccentric prime minister.

The dead knight has lain hidden for more than 70 years, his body obscured by salts leaching from the plaster into the paint. It was further disfigured by a sloppy effort in the late 1930s to restore the murals to their original glory.

"It looked like a mound of (green), a blob, or, as I call it, a broccoli head," said Wendy Baker, a conservator with Canadian Heritage's Canadian Conservation Institute who uncovered the body several weeks ago.

"I didn't know what it was. It was just bizarre."

The mural in question depicts a medieval, armoured knight wielding a sword. It had been so badly touched up that it was impossible to see that he was standing over the body of another knight, until Baker uncovered it.

The Canadian Press


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