The determination of the elastic property distribution in heterogeneous gel samples with a finite element based reconstruction scheme is considered. The algorithm operates on small overlapping subzones of the total field to allow for a high degree of spatial discretization while maintaining computational tractability. By including a Maxwellian-type viscoelastic property in the model physics and optimizing the spatial distribution of this property in the same manner as elasticity, a Young's modulus image is obtained which reasonably reflects the true distribution within the gel. However, the image lacks the clarity and accuracy expected based on simulation experience. Preliminary investigations suggest that transient effects in the data are the cause of a significant mismatch between the inversion model, which assumes steady-state conditions, and the actual displacements as measured by a phase contrast MR technique.