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A church with one of the world's largest mosaic collections now has a museum to explain how sparking pieces of glass are transformed into an artwork.

The Mosaic Museum opens Oct. 25 in the basement of the Cathedral of St. Louis. It's intended to take visitors through the process of designing, constructing and installing a mosaic. The museum was suggested by St. Louis Archbishop John May, who directed the completion of the cathedral's mosaics in 1988, and envisaged the educational displays as answering visitors' many questions.The cathedral is decorated with some 83,000 square feet of mosaics. More than 100,000 visitors have toured the building in each of the last several years, said the pastor, the Rev. James Telthorst.

The mosaics were installed by Paul and Arno Heuduck, father and son, over a 76-year span, with the son finally completing the work in spring 1988. Arno Heuduck's work desk, tools and photographs of him at work are displayed in one alcove of the museum. There are also rare photos of the bare, gray interiors of the cathedral taken before mosaic work began in 1912.