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Joe Louis Fist Gets New Cables, A Good Cleaning

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit's famous fist is getting a bit of a facelift.

The Detroit Institute of Arts conservation staff is leading an effort to preserve the "Monument to Joe Louis" — more commonly known as "The Fist."

That means surface cleaning, new cables and minor structural work on the sculpture on Woodward Ave. at Jefferson in front of Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit Wednesday.

Crews will also coat the fist with wax, making it tougher to vandalize. (In 2004, someone splashed white paint on the sculpture). Precision Installation and Services and Venus Bronze Works will be assisting DIA staff with the project.

The cast bronze fist was created in 1985 by Robert Graham as a tribute to the boxing great.

Preservation work on The Fist is done about every ten years.

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