Lincoln statue gets a makeover, special guest greets people at Gettysburg visitor center in the meantime

It hasn’t quite been four score and seven years, but it has been a while.

“The top of his shoulders, his head, his nose, everything was worn off to the substrate to the straight bronze. So it really had a blotchy appearance,” said Steve Roy, owner of Steve Roy Art Restoration.

Abraham Lincoln is getting a makeover.

“To keep him in tip-top shape really does help preserve his legacy, and help preserve the importance of Lincoln to Gettysburg and to our democracy,” said Teddi Joyce, VP of marketing and sales at the Gettysburg Foundation.

The restoration paid for with donations collected during the Gettysburg Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign, isn’t a simple process.

First they have to sand the statue down to it’s bronze, then put on a base coat and several other layers of chemicals, before applying the final layer to give the statue its dark finish.

“When I do the final finessing, we’ll apply three coats of wax, a hardening wax to bring it up to a fine lustrous finish after the wax hardens. And we should be good to go for many years,” said Roy.

But it’s an important one, because the statue is one of the most photographed spots in Gettysburg.

“People flock here to get their picture taken with him, because of the iconic nature, but also because he truly is so welcoming to the place,” said Joyce.

So, while one Abe is getting touched up...

“We weren’t going to disappoint our visitors and not let them have the opportunity to engage and have a commemorative photo taken with a Mr. Lincoln,” said Joyce.

...another Abe is already ready for his closeup.

"I’m glad to greet the visitors, even from foreign countries that are here,” said George Buss, a Lincoln impersonator.

Even though Abe is just visiting, he’s proud to see his impact set here in stone in Gettysburg forever.

“For the current generation to hold me in some kind of esteem, I must have accomplished what I set out to do,” said Buss, while impersonating Lincoln.

Mr. Lincoln will be here in person all day Saturday, too.

The Lincoln statue will reopen to the public by Sunday.

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