Here's a permanent installation if ever there was one...
These statues are gilded, fiberglass units, cast from a mold of an original wood or clay sculpture. They're supported by a concealed lightening rod which runs through the interior and projects up through the top of the head.
Sometimes they get discolored or damaged by powerful lightening strikes but most of the time, old Ben Franklins' invention works like a charm
I understand local fire departments are often contracted to clean them with their big ladder rigs.
Weight is indeed an issue which is precisely why the statue is molded from fiberglass. Since the figure itself is hollow, it weighs only a fraction of solid wood or stone.
I'm also responding to your comment and correct suggestion that "wood outside is never permanent". These fiberglass units with gold leaf epoxied to their exterior surfaces, have a designed "indefinite life span".
The installation of some kind of electrical conductor or lightening rod, is a building and fire/safety-code requirement on almost all high-rise construction anywhere in the world. The steeples of churches as well as flagpoles are particularly vulnerable and should always be protected.
The giant needle on top of the Empire State Building is not there "just for looks".
These sculptures are fairly large and always mounted in what appears as a "precarious perch"
The old originals were cast in hollow bronze but still weighed over 3 tons. Plus they required a heavy counterweight suspended from the base (inside the steeple) which allowed them to move a bit with the wind, instead of cracking the casting.
They also must be removable since the thin gold leaf eventually begins to wear away with the wind.
Oops,.. Are we talking about a lightened, White or "racial" depiction which may be offensive to some Native Americans or people of color?
You may have a point...
Since this statue is supposed to be a depiction of a pre-Columbian Native American, perhaps a burnished bronze or polished copper would indeed have been more suitable.
You might also wonder why a Jewish carpenter and rabbi, residing in the Middle East 2000 years ago, is almost always (and erroneously) depicted as a White, Northern European (by just about everyone).
I have no answers other than to acknowledge the legitimacy of your observations (at least as far as I'm concerned) and to agree in principle, with you.
Still, you must admit that the gold shines beautifully and the construction and engineering methods are something worth talking about and sharing. It's also (I believe) directly to the point of this post and without regard to race or religion.
Yeah you're absolutely right. I have no idea what either he or me is talking about. I may have over reacted but I've heard these comments or innuendos before. If not, then call me an "ass" and let it pass.
Still, I would like to address the question if there is one. Maybe Mr. Chicumsuk could explain it in terms that wouldn't leave me jumping to conclusions?
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