WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (AP) — The restoration of a World War I doughboy statue that was severely damaged when tornadoes hit eastern Kentucky last year is essentially complete.
Morehead artists Stephen Tirone and Eddie Horton told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/YNgCGO) that the doughboy is ready to return to duty in West Liberty. The statue had stood outside the Morgan County courthouse for 85 years when tornadoes devastated the town last March.
The statue was torn from its pedestal and broken into several pieces. After weeks of searching, most of the pieces were found and Tirone and Horton began a months-long process to restore the statue.
"The statue was in about in eight or nine pieces, and some other pieces were missing," Tirone said. "So we had to re-sculpt the parts that were gone."
They re-created the lost pieces using materials that resemble marble, and then used a mixture of marble dust and epoxy glue to meld everything back together.
"We can never make him exactly as he was before the tornado, but he's about 99 percent complete," Tirone said recently. "There are just a few little things left to do, like a really good clean-up."
He recommended against putting the restored statue back outside where it would be exposed to the elements.
"Water has a way of getting into even the tiniest hairline crack, and once it freezes, it would start to destroy all of the work we did," he said. "Both Eddie and I feel that the statue couldn't stand the weather long term with the repairs that we made."
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com