CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Ernie Banks and Harry Caray statues were removed from outside Wrigley Field on Wednesday, to be restored during the offseason while renovations are underway inside and outside the stadium itself.
Sculptor Lou Cella said if the two bronze statues aren't cleaned and resealed on occasion, they would eventually turn green.
"I look at it as an opportunity to keep them looking pristine, and cleaned up," he said. "As long as the rest of the ballpark is getting a facelift, too, let's take care of Ernie and Harry here, and get them all pretty for Opening Day."
Cella oversaw their removal Wednesday morning, when workers cut away the bolts securing each sculpture to its base, and then used cranes to haul the statues onto a truck.
"None of our sculptures anywhere – not even the Michael Jordan – takes the pounding that these do here at this intersection," Cella said. "You have all the exhaust fumes; the salt from the snow plows; and then just, of course, Mother Nature, with all the snow and rain and so forth."
After the restoration work, the statues will be placed atop new granite-covered bases. Ernie Banks and Harry Caray should be back in their rightful spots outside the Friendly Confines by Opening Day 2015.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said people come to Wrigley Field to take pictures in front of the marquee, the statues, and the hand-operated scoreboard, "so it's important to make sure we're preserving these things responsibly."
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