Fight to save Norfolk Botantical Garden sculptures

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by Arrianee Lebeau, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 13 at 10:29 AM

NORFOLK -- Some famous sculptures at the Norfolk Botanical Garden that are in dire need of repair.

There are eleven total, of some of the greatest artist off all time like, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. The pieces of artwork were sculpted by famous and Virginia native, Ezekiel Moses.

Trisha Rawls is a member of the Botanical Garden board and said the deterioration of the statues must be stopped.

“He (Moses)  was a great Virginian, he was a great artist. These are wonderful pieces of art that are not only Botanical Garden's treasures, Norfolk's treasures, Virginia's treasures but also America’s treasures.

Due to the statutes being exposed to the areas environmental elements they are starting deteriorate. Some of them are covered in algae, missing body parts and almost unrecognizable.

In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene toppled a large oak tree across the vista. The tree knocked the Rembrandt sculpture from its pedestal and damaged it.

Rawls is part of a group along with some Virginia Military Institute alumni that are trying to raise $1.5Million dollars to restore the pieces of art.
“We are going to have a plan to restore them and put them back. We are going to have to cover them to protect them for the future,” said Rawls.

VMI graduate Bill Harshaw said the statues not only celebrate art history but also Virginia’s history and should be restored.

“Most VMI alumni are very passionate about the school and its great heritage and its history and Moses Ezekiel is very much a part of that great heritage and history,” said Harshaw.

Moses Ezekiel also sculpted the “Virginia Mourning Her Dead Statute” located on VMI’s campus that honors six cadets killed in the Battle of New Market in 1864.

If you’d like  to the restoration of the statutes you can contact Norfolk Botanical Garden.


 

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