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Ask 13: What's the story behind the lion fountain painting on Tunnel Road retaining wall?

Ask 13: What's the story behind the lion fountain painting on Tunnel Road retaining wall? (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A painting at a city bus stop is an absolute work of art, but who painted it remains a mystery.

The painting on a retaining wall by an ART stop isn't graffiti in the traditional sense, but it wasn't commissioned either.

It's unusual enough that a viewer wanted more information.

"WLOS, I am curious if you can answer this mystery for my family. What is the story about the painting of the trompe l'oeil lion fountain at the retention wall off of Tunnel Road near Beverly Road?" Brittany Hancock wrote Ask 13.

Trompe- l'oeil basically means to fool the eye. In this case, the fountain looks real, but it's really just a magical painting.

As for the story behind the lion fountain, information is limited. ART, the city's bus transit system, had no idea where it came from.

A check with city staff revealed Asheville had not commissioned any art at that location.

And since it's in the DOT right of way, state transportation officials were questioned. But they were also confounded.

The only clue that could be found was "2011" in the painting. Perhaps that's the year the fountain was painted.

Since no one seems to know how the painting got there, it's origins remain a mystery.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

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