LOWVILLE Repairs to the villages 129-year-old Civil War statue are in full swing at McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory Inc., Oberlin, Ohio.
After years of fundraising efforts by Save Our Statue, chaired by Charlotte M. Beagle, and a $142,965 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the zinc statue was on its way to the facility for repairs last October.
Thomas J. Podnar, sculpture conservator and metals specialist, is working on the piece every day. Its unique because all of the parts are there, he said, noting that many statues hes worked on are missing bases or other parts.
Many zinc statues were lost during metal drives for war efforts, while others have deteriorated and crumbled.
A well-intentioned but damaging attempt to repair Lowvilles statue in the 1980s left it in worse condition.
When the monument returns at the end of next month, it will be sturdier than ever.
Its rewarding, making strong something that was falling apart, Mr. Podnar said.
One way McKay Lodge is beefing up the statue is by creating a stainless steel skeleton to go inside the structure.
The exterior will get a mild surface abrasion with water and powdered glass. This will give it a uniform texture and hide the repairs as the material oxidizes to gray again.
Once repairs are complete, the company will do a test run, putting the statue together at the site and making sure everything fits perfectly. It then will be disassembled, shipped to Lowville and reassembled on the Village Green.
Once the statue is reinstalled, a rededication ceremony will be held.