- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

OREGON, Ill. (AP) - Preparations are starting in an $825,000 restoration project to repair a more than century-old statue of a Native American overlooking the Rock River in northern Illinois.

A crew has been testing various repair mixtures to fill cracks in the 50-foot tall Black Hawk statue, portions of which have been crumbling and falling off due to effects of time and weather, according to Dr. Andrzej Dajnowski, the project’s conservator.

“We’re working on it all the time,” he said. “We’re testing the injection material. That’s very important.”

The 104-year-old statue remains surrounded with mesh and scaffolding that served as a protective cover, but it will soon be removed, Dajnowski told Sauk Valley Media (http://bit.ly/1G6jJ6Y ).

“We’ll be out there finishing the scaffolding next week,” he said. “What’s up there now was just to protect it for the winter. Now we have to finish it for working on it.”

The Black Hawk statue stands on a 125-foot bluff at Lowden State Park in Ogle County. It was designed in 1910 by Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft and dedicated as a tribute to Native Americans the following year.

The statue was named in April to the state’s list of Most Endangered Historic Places.

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Information from: Dixon Telegraph, http://www.saukvalley.com

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