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Tradition leaves statue worn; repairs planned

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As Ben Franklin gets older, his face and features are getting smoother and smoother.

More than 10 years of alternating colorful paint jobs on the Franklin College statue followed by new coats of standard gray paint are erasing the definition of Ben’s face, clothes and hands and damaging the limestone base underneath.

Starting Monday, a contractor will begin a long process of applying paint stripper, power-washing off old coats of paint, meticulously scraping paint out of joints and wrinkles and repairing the underlying stone. The statue has stood outside Franklin College for 50 years and hasn’t had any major restoration work done since 2003.


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