Rockford Park District officials this morning are consulting with the artist who created the statue of Joe Marino as they determine how best to repair it.
A bronze, life-size tribute to “Mr. Fourth of July” was discovered on Friday morning splashed with bright yellow paint. Officials covered the statue with a gray tarp for the weekend as they consulted with industry experts, the artist and others to determine how best to remove the paint without damaging the surface.
Officials are also concerned that whatever chemicals must be used to remove the paint could present an environmental hazard to the park or the river nearby . They could remove the statue temporarily, repair it and then return it to the site after it is restored to avoid any environmental hazard.
Commissioned for $38,000 by the Rockford Park District Foundation, the statue was created by artist David S. Seagraves of Elizabeth. It is located at the corner of East State and Water streets.
It depicts Marino – the man who has for years organized the Rockford Fourth of July celebration and the Festival of Lights in Sinnissippi Park – carrying Christmas lights and fireworks while he points with his right hand.
More information is expected later today about how the park district plans to proceed with repairs.
UPDATE: Crews were working to remove the Marino statue from its base at 1:25 p.m. The Rockford Park District has not released their plans forthe statue. Will update further soon.