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Liberty Replica - page one  To Page Two

Scope of Project 

Liberty Original ConditionThis statue was made from stamped copper sheets soldered together over forms.

It is approximately 9 tall including the base. When the piece was delivered for restoration, it was covered in about 15 coats of paint, filled with concrete and covered with cracks and gaps. The owners wish was for the repairs to be made then be given a protective, warm, rich copper color finish that would add intrinsic beauty to the piece.
Liberty Original Condition
When the owners contacted MasterWorks about delivering the piece, it was thought to be around its original weight of 300 pounds. During the transport process it was discovered the weight was actually closer to 1,600 pounds and upon inspecting by MasterWorks, it was found to be completely filled from top to bottom with Portland cement!

Special Issues and Obstacles Regarding Restoration of the Liberty

Cement Filling

Head filled with cementAs mentioned above, the statue had been filled with cement which made the piece extremely heavy and a major challenge to move around the studio for the many processes needed for the work ahead. Virtually all of the old solder joints and seams were cracked or completely split and separated by at least or more. All of this damage was caused by the concrete which was adhered to every inside surface. The Liberty had been standing in northern Missouri where winters are usually wet and extremely cold. The moisture had collected in and around the concrete from seepage through the figure surface. The water had frozen and expanded which caused more moisture to enter and force an even wider expansion.

To correct this damage, the gaps were thoroughly peened with glass beads inside and out to insure a clean new surface was exposed to receive the solder. When possible, the smaller openings and cracks were cleaned in the same manner and heavily soldered from the inside out to achieve the maximum metal fusion with each other.

Clay mold made for missing tail

The concrete in the torch base caused the copper to swell and split. The copper was removed, the concrete broken down and the copper pieces reapplied.

New tail being fittedNew tail after finishing



Before any repairs were started, the sculpture was chemically stripped. This was done in several stages because there were around 15 coats of old paint to be removed. As the paint was removed, beautiful details started to emerge. After the stripping process, the piece was lightly peened with low air pressure, heated, gently scrapted and wire brushed to remove any lingering old paint and residue.

Paw damage

Paw damage

Click for continuatin of Liberty Restoration