UPDATE 10/3/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- This beautiful day at the Gallipolis City Park is more than just sunshine and changing leaves for Dick Moore.
“I just believe that it's a great day that we can clean him up and he can stand tall,” Moore said.
He was there to watch the city's Doughboy statue take on new life with an expert restoration.
“I’ve just been anxious all day to see what this is going to look like in the end,” Moore said.
He spent four years in the U.S. Navy in the 1950s. He knows how important this statue is.
“This is a symbol of freedom,” Moore said. “This is a symbol of a thank you to all veterans that have served from Gallia County.”
But after standing in the park for 81 years, its finish has tarnished.
“Over time, just basic vandalism and the wear and tear of weather and various things has caused issues with the monument itself,” Veteran’s Service Officer John Thomas said.
So experts are blasting the bronze statue with dry ice to remove the green patina and restore its original finish.
“It got on it from the power plants before they had the pollution control,” artist and restoration expert Mark Parmenter said. “It causes acid rain and it actually etches into the metal and turns black.”
The Veteran’s Service Commission has plans to keep the statue waxed so it won’t tarnish again.
The bronze statue had turned green from age and the elements, so a dry ice sandblasting process is being used to restore its finish.
There were just 160 of the statues made by an artist from Spencer back in the 1930s. About 120 are still in existence.
The Gallipolis statue has had some vandalism over the years, including the rifle being stolen. As part of the restoration process, a new cast bronze rifle was installed.
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