|Victory was returned to the Circle on Labor Day weekend and placed in the Northwest Quadrant.|
Ready for her close-up, a lot of visitors took the only opportunity they might have to see her
on the ground for another 100-150 years.
|Workmen in a cherry-picker crane preparing to install braided nylon|
rope to allow the crane to lift Victory's steel cage, without damaging the statue.
The lift had been re-scheduled for 8 a.m. this past Monday and, as I turned the corner at Meridian to head for the Circle it was about 10 minutes before 8, I figured I had time to make it. I looked up towards the Monument and -- there she was! -- drawn up by the crane to the very tip of its boom. Victory had begun her return to her home thirty minutes ahead of schedule and was poised above the scaffolding in preparation for placement on her base. While I was disappointed, I knew that someone would surely post video on YouTube I could see later. They did and you can view it below.
|Workmen work to guide Victory into place as the crane |
slowly lowers the statue into the scaffolding
I did stay to take pictures of my own and watched as Victory was gradually lowered into place. That process took about an hour as the workmen carefully aligned her with the sixteen bolts that had been installed to attach her to the base. That done, they will further secure her with over 100 additional bolts to the armature/column protruding from the Monument.
When the statue originally was created 118 years ago, the technology was not available to install her in one piece. Instead, workmen used horse-drawn pulleys to haul Victory in over forty pieces to the top of the Monument. Welding processes were just in their infancy and the technology was not available for use, particularly for bronze. Consequently, the pieces were assembled on top of the Monument using a series of metal pins which were hammered into holes in the statue, hooked over to grip from inside to secure the elements. Over time, the holes became corroded and allowed water to seep inside the statue.
The problem was found in 2009 during other restoration work on the Monument and Victory was removed in April 2011 to a nearby airplane hanger where she was cleaned, most of the holes filled and sealed. She was then reassembled and welded together. Her torch has been gilded with 23-carat gold and, it is agreed, she is beautiful.
Now that she has been returned, portions of her exterior will be replaced and welded in place. She will then be smoothed, patinaed and polished with wax. The scaffolding will be removed and Victory, her make-over complete, should resume vigil over the city in a couple weeks, her golden torch shining in the sun.