- Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

CRETE, Neb. (AP) - A 100-year-old statue in a Crete park has been restored after vandals destroyed it nearly two years ago.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports (https://bit.ly/1XCi6F3 ) the city of Crete rededicated the Goddess of Liberty statue and celebrated its 100th anniversary Tuesday with dozens of residents, city workers, and local and state officials.

City administrator Tom Ourada says the city paid for the $60,000 project with private donations, the city’s park reserve fund and $40,000 in court-ordered restitution from the vandals.

Robinson Iron Corp. in Alexander City, Alabama, used original molds for the 20-foot-tall statue and fountain after workers in Crete picked up and stored about 50 shattered cast-iron remnants. The company used original molds for the statue and fountain made by J.L. Mott Iron Works of New York. It is a replica of a statue in Myers Park on Long Island, New York.

Lt. Gov. Mike Foley praised city officials and the community for their decision to rally around the statue and fountain and fix it up.

“This statue is so emblematic of the beauty of Crete,” Foley said. “For generations to come, people will gather around this statue and enjoy the beauty of this park.”

The statue and fountain have been moved to a part of the park with more space, said Mayor Roger Foster.

Foster says the city has installed a security system with cameras to deter vandalism.

“It’s beautiful,” said John Lothrop, Crete resident. “I like the location. It’s more visible, more prominent … I see it as a focal point. Having a fountain in a prominent location in a city park, I think it’s a good thing.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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