The deteriorating Civil War statue in Patchogue has been shipped off to a conservation laboratory in Ohio, where it will be restored, village officials said.
The monument, depicting a soldier gripping a long rifle, was hauled away to the McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin last week before a snowstorm struck Long Island, village officials said.
“It’s one of the best art conservation places in the U.S. for zinc sculptures,” said village Trustee Susan Brinkman, who spearheaded the restoration project.
She added that Carol A. Grissom of the Smithsonian Institution, one of the nation’s leading authorities on zinc sculptures, recommended that the village send the statue to the Ohio laboratory.
The structure on Baker Street has fallen into disrepair over the years, likely due to the brittle material from which it’s made, experts say.
Zinc sculptures weren’t made in the United States until the 1850s, but became popular for the remainder of the century, experts say.
Village officials said it could take a year before the monument returns home.
“We are not entirely sure when it will come back. They are going to do an analysis on the statue and really fine-tune it and see what specifically needs to be done. And we gave it to them with the understanding that they could do it during their slow times for a reduced price,” Brinkman said.
The village received a $30,000 grant from Suffolk County Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) toward the restoration cost of $60,000, officials said.
Patchogue-based Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, a group of Civil War descendants who conduct research and re-enactments of the conflict, is raising money for repairs.
The base of the statue has begun cracking, and the leaning soldier was held up with the help of a steel ladder.
The monument was erected in 1870 and is etched with 180 names representing former residents who risked their lives during the conflict.