Why Were Illinois’ Famous Lion Statues Removed From Art Institute
When I saw a video on Social Media of the famous bronze lion statues being removed from the Art Institute of Chicago's front steps, I got concerned because they are one of my favorite things in the city.
One Of The Most Famous Attractions In Chicago
Whenever you see Chicago featured on TV or in a movie and they've got footage from around the city there will be certain landmarks that will definitely be featured. They're places like Navy Pier, Soldier Field, John Hancock Building, The Bean, and my favorite one of all time the lion statues in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Visitors travel from all over the world to get a selfie with the famous statues. When people visit us from out-of-town, it was a must-stop on their tour of the city. The lions will wear Christmas wreaths during the holidays. They support the local sports teams by putting on the gear. It's amazing how many people just hang out around them.
Before there were cell phones, you had to pick specific places to meet people. For my family, if it was in the city our rendezvous point was the Art Institute of Chicago by the lion statue on the right. We did it many times during the years. I remember meeting friends from college there before a Grateful Dead show at Soldier Field.
The Famous Lions Have Been Removed From Steps Of Art Institute Of Chicago
Recently, I saw a video of the famous lions being removed from their place on the Art Institute steps. I got really concerned because they are a part of history. They've been there since 1894. They weigh 4,200 pounds each so there had to be a good explanation.
Some crazy ideas went through my head. Maybe the city sold them because it's so broke. Could the Art Institute have swapped them with another museum? Kind of like a bad trade that the GMs of the Chicago sports make. Luckily, it was none of the above. In fact, it was for a logical reason.
Why Have The Lion Statues Been Removed From The Art Institute?
According to chicago.suntimes.com,
The lions are expected to be gone for about a month. They’ll be taken to a facility in Forest Park where they’ll be steam cleaned and then coated with a wax preservative.