DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A roughly 8-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty that has stood on Mackinac Island is getting a makeover.
Art conservator Giorgio Gikas began renovating the replica earlier this week at his Detroit-based Venus Bronze Works Inc.
The nearly 300-pound replica was missing points of its crown, the copper skin was dented and corroded, and the July Fourth tablet was coming apart.
“She’s bad, but she’s not the worst I’ve seen,” Gikas told the Detroit News. “On a scale of one to 10, I’d say she’s a five or six.”
The Boy Scouts of America gave the replica to Mackinac Island in the 1950s.
Gikas, who is locally known for refurbishing the Spirit of Detroit, said the replica was made with the same metalworking technique used on the real Statue of Liberty, called repoussé, in which metal is shaped by hammering it over a form.
Last year, Mackinac Island’s American Legion Post 299 started a campaign to raise more than $60,000 to fix up the Statue of Liberty replica. Paul Wandrie, the post’s commander, says that supporters so far have been able to raise more than a third of the goal.
Once the statue has been repaired, officials plan to erect it at a more visible spot about 100 feet west of its original location, near the Mackinac Island State Marina.
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