The Blogster loves covering the State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Committee, mostly because no other reporters ever bother with it. But the appointed group of history buffs are at least interested in the 1878 pile. They just got word from Eric Connery, facilities administrator for the Joint Office of Legislative Management, that the “Genius” statue is about two weeks from completion at a Tavern Rock, N.Y. art foundry.
Here’s a photo Connery just sent the Blogster, taken during his recent visit. He said the bronze’s patina was that of a new penny, but the foundry threw another patina on it to give it some oldish looks while it develops its own. Of course, it could be a while for that to occur, since the 16-foot-tall piece will be inside, in the Capitol rotunda, until Connecticut comes up with enough cash to hoist it back up on top of the dome. The original winged statue was found to have been loosened by the famous hurricane of 1938 and it was subsequently melted down for the effort in WWII.
“They did a wonderful job of matching the pieces,” Connery just told the committee. “Even inside, where we’re going to store her temporarily, it will be hard to find the seams.” With any luck, the winged beast should become the newest Capitol attraction in about six weeks, resting on a new $40,000 seismic-safe base, which will be anchored through the rotunda’s existing base, which is packed earth, by the way. Connery said the current plan is to remove a circular ring of black marble, which is cracked and damaged, as well as a circular center piece, then determine whether an anchor for the base has to be dug down as deep as four feet into the ground. It’s all to meet the earthquake code. Connery said it take 10,000 pounds of pressure to tip over the statue. “The center of gravity is almost perfect,” he said, joking that in event of an earthquake “The statue will be standing and the building will be falling down.”