Photos: Denver diorama finds new home in History Colorado Center lobby

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The diorama had to be cut into pieces in order to move it at least once before, in the 1980s. But the conservators back then didn't keep careful records of how they did it, Greenfield says. When they reassembled it, they did so permanently, necessitating another round of cuts.

This time, she says, the reassembly won't last forever. The seams she's laying will be held on by a weak glue that can easily be removed. And they'll need to be. Unlike in the old building, the museum plans to keep the diorama on only temporary display in order to protect it from deterioration. To shield it from sun damage, the museum will cover it with SmartGlass, which darkens as the sun brightens.

The diorama will be unveiled to the public in February. But today and tomorrow, visitors can get a sneak peak -- albeit from several feet away. As Greenfield works on her finishing touches, the diorama is surrounded by a temporary curtain and a movable fence. Still, even from a distance, its sheer size and detail are astounding.

Continue for many more photos of the diorama and of Greenfield working.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar