- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started work to temporarily remove a damaged statue from the church’s Salt Lake Temple.

Removal of the Angel Moroni statue with a crane began Monday as part of a four-year project to renovate and restore the temple, The Deseret News reports.

Work crews on multiple levels of scaffolding secured the statue, which is 210 feet (64.01 meters) above Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Workers placed straps around the 12-foot-6-inch (3.81-meter) figure, which is made of hammered copper and covered in 22-karat gold leaf.

The project also includes removal of the capstone on which the angel stands.

The statue was damaged during a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck west of Salt Lake City March 18.

There were no injuries reported when the statue’s trumpet fell and several smaller spire stones were displaced.

“This has long been planned as part of the temple renovation, but the timeline to do so was accelerated following the earthquake in March,” church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said. “The statue and capstone will be preserved and refurbished before being reinstalled at a later date.”

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