Iconic King Louis IX statue gets facelift

King Louis IX statue on Art Hill in Forest Park gets $50,000 facelift

ST. LOUIS - Outside of the Gateway Arch, it's arguably the most iconic landmark in St. Louis.

A $50,000 dollar facelift, fit for a king, is now complete on the famous King Louis IX statue on Art Hill in Forest Park.

"The statue is so significant, it's an icon to the city of St. Louis," said Frank Kartmann with Forest Park Forever. "Pierre Laclede named the city after Louis the IX. When people see the statue, they think of St. Louis. It's very meaningful, very significant."

The statue, originally plaster, dates back to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Crews applied a bronze coating on The Apotheosis of St. Louis, its official name, in 1906.

But King Louis IX hasn't had a good scrubbing in twenty years.

Bob Marti, with Russell-Marti Conservation Services, applied the finishing touches on Wednesday.
Crews first had to first blast some of the original plaster that had leaked through the bronze over the years. Other parts of the statue had patches of muck and assorted debris.

"It's a bit like baking a cake," said Bob Marti. "You want to make sure it's done and looks its best."
The $50,000 dollar upgrade was covered mainly with donations to Forest Park Forever.

While the rehab job is finished, the staging around the statue will remain until sometime next week. 

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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