Ernie Banks' Wrigley Field statue restored

Nov. 11, 2011 at 4:00 AM
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PEORIA, Ill., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The statue of "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks from Chicago's Wrigley Field was restored at an Illinois university after it began to oxidize.

Lou Cella, the Chicago artist who created the Banks statue, said Cubs officials wanted the statue restored because it was "oxidizing a little too fast" and was "turning green," the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star reported Thursday.

Cella said he enlisted the help of Kyle Chipman, who worked with him on a statue of Cubs great Ron Santo, for the restoration.

Chipman said the statue was taken to Bradley University in Peoria Nov. 2 and the old finish was burned off with a torch. He then sandblasted the surface and cleaned it with a metal degreaser.

Chemicals were applied to the statue to give it a new surface appearance and a coat of lacquer was applied.

Chipman said the statue of the 80-year-old hall of fame shortstop and first baseman will return home to Wrigley Field Friday.

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