Famed kiva expected to reopen in June

Bernalillo, New Mexico (AP) April 2010

After three years of a major renovations that included a mud-plaster facelift, the Painted Kiva at Coronado State Monument is expected to reopen this summer.

The site is a familiar landmark to Albuquerque-area residents.

Until 2006, visitors could climb down a wooden ladder and see the inside of the ceremonial space. Over the past three years, the kiva has been closed because of serious structural problems.

It is expected to reopen June 6.

The next phase in the restoration is preservation of 1938 murals, which replicated the original 500-year old murals found inside the kiva. State officials say those original murals served as an example of some of the most well-preserved Native American paintings.