- Associated Press - Sunday, May 29, 2016

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs officials and resident have spent nearly $10,000 on a 3-D image of a historic statue to ensure the artwork can be restored if it’s ever damaged.

Residents and officials teamed for the scan of the Ruth Anne Dodge Memorial, according to The Daily Nonpareil (https://bit.ly/1Wt4jTy ).

The 96-year-old statue was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, who created the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The bronze sculpture had fallen into disrepair but was restored in 1984 and now is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Residents wanted to be sure the statue could be restored if it were damaged, so the Lincoln/Fairview Neighborhood Association worked with the city to raise $9,750 for a California company that scanned the sculpture over several weeks, giving officials an exact replica of the artwork.

“The concern was that if something was broken off, for example, having some way to repair or recreate that piece was important,” Parks Director Larry Foster said. “It’s a unique piece.”

Officials had considered creating a mold of the statue, but that option would have been more expensive and required the storage of the mold. The scanning option was cheaper and the data could be stored in a computer.

The scanning company did its work over several weeks and captured images at night.

Neighbors who worked to raise money said they were happy with the project.

Susan Seamands, the association’s past president, said the statue is a beloved part of the community.

The statue, known as The Black Angel, commemorates the 1916 death of Ruth Anne Dodge, the wife of General Dodge, who served in the Civil War and oversaw construction of the Union Pacific Railroad.

“It’s a good thing for the city, and our love for the angel doesn’t stop there,” Seamands said of her neighborhood group. “We annually go up there to clean up and to put in new mulch the city provides. It’s a world-class artwork treasure.”

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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