The restoration of the damaged Toomer’s Corner eagle statues is going to take longer than expected thanks to an unexpected discovery: the eagles were actual, petrified eagles. No, joking—it’s something even more horrible.
The statues were recently removed and sent to a marble specialist in Washington D.C. for cleaning and refurbishing. They thought they were just going to be fixing the beak of one eagle, the wing of another, and just generally returning the things to something close to their former glory… the glory before the red paint.
Yes, at some point since the statues’ placement at Toomer’s Corner (which was likely in the early 1960s), the front of the eagles were tagged with red “aerosol type” paint. Tests revealed the paint was applied at least 30 years ago. Seems Auburn workers quickly covered up the red with a color approximating that becoming a weathered marble eagle statue.
Who painted the eagles red? Who knows, but we think it’s safe to say it wasn’t an Auburn thing. Maybe someone from Dadeville or something.
“I’m still waiting on my guys to do a little more,” Jerry Lathan, founder and CEO of the Mobile-based historic preservation company in charge of the restoration, told the Auburn Plainsman. “But short of sending it to some CSI lab we won’t find out what happened.”
The eagles were originally schedule to return to their perches in late November or early December. Now we’re shooting just for sometime before Christmas.
Check out the Plainsman’s story for more details.
Photo by Kenny Smith.
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