The paint damage was discovered on a wall of petroglyphs in a box canyon called Keyhole Sink near Williams. The Kaibab National Forest hired a conservator to help repair the panel and the work was completed over two recent days.
The paint was heated with a torch and then soaked up with sponges and paper, said Kaibab archaeologist Neil Weintraub. He said paint residue was lightened with solvent.
Weintraub said workers were pleased to get the big splotch of paint removed so people could see the markings again. But he also said there’s now a light spot on the rock where the paint was removed and it’s probably permanent, depending on how the rock weathers.
“It will unfortunately never be the same,” he said. “There’s always going to be an area where you can tell there was paint there.”