Anthony Wayne Statue Restoration Work Begins (PHOTOS)

By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

Anthony Wayne Statue Restoration Work Begins (PHOTOS)

July 24, 2014 Updated Jul 24, 2014 at 9:31 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Nearly a year after an agreement was reached to keep the Anthony Wayne Statue in Freimann Square, Gen. Wayne and his horse are getting a bit of a makeover.

A father and son duo from Forest Park, Ill., began work Thursday to refurbish the 96-year-old monument. They will use a relatively new form of laser cleaning to restore the surface, and return the statue to a more original look.

"The challenging part is removing the coating," Andrzej Dajnowski, Ph.D., the father, says. "There is polyurethane coating that has never been removed before."

The Dajnowskis say using the light-emitting lasers not only remove the old coating, but avoid use of chemicals and air abrasives. The pair will also reconstruct missing pieces by making molds of them, and coating them with a classical bronze finish.

"The monument, in general, is fairly well-maintained compared to other monuments in other parks," Bartosz Dajnowski, the son, says. "It's not in a critical state. It doesn't have terrible, green corrosion all over it. But, this is not what it originally was intended to look like."

In the end, the Revolutionary War general and the horse will not be as dark and green in appearance as they are now, Bartosz says. The Dajnowskis will use historical records to match the new-look statue to the original.

The Anthony Wayne Statue was dedicated in 1918 at Hayden Park, according to Architecture & Community Heritage (ARCH). The statue moved to Freimann Square in 1973.

Last summer, a deal was reached between the City of Fort Wayne and the Courthouse Preservation Trust to keep the statue in Freimann, and restore it. The $100,000 plan--paid for by the trust--also includes trimming of trees and adding lights to the southwest corner of the park.

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