This is a photograph of a deteriorated slide taken by my father in Gharyan, Libya in 1956. Written in pencil on the paper slide mount was the clue "Garian Mural." A quick search on Google led to this image and excerpt from the diary of the artist, but it's clear that my father's picture isn't of the Lady of Garian.
Further searching uncovered a book called, Global Oil Finder: Autobiography of a Petroleum Geologist, by Frederick Kelly. Fred wrote on pg 203 of his book:
"Our favorite village in the mountains was Garian, which had a nice hotel with a bar and restaurant. While in Garian we always made a trip to the ruins of a World War II field hospital, just out of town, to see the famous "Ladies of Garian." In 1943 Clifford Saber, a volunteer American ambulance driver with the British Eighth Army created three expertly drawn murals of nude ladies inside the walls of the buiding in red paint (some said it was blood). The most famous mural covered a large wall and portrayed an enormous naked woman lying on her side, American pin-up style. The upper outline of her body was in the shape of the coastline of North Africa with towns and cities labeled; and all over were humorous little figures of soldiers, paratroopers, bombs and airplanes."
Further digging turned up this photograph by Mark McCarthy, of what must be the third of Saber's murals. You'll notice the feet at the right bottom of my father's picture are the same as those at the left bottom of Mark's photograph.
I'm delighted to share an article about my journey as a photographer published in Olympus Passion,.