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Mr. Rogers Statue Gets A Cleaning

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Glowing in the mid-day sun, the bronze statue of children's television icon Fred Rogers regains its original luster.

Conservator Rhonda Wozniak and assistant Terrie Churchin painstakingly remove the grit and the grime from the highly textured work of sculptor Robert Berks.

"There are a lot of little intricacies so it means getting into every little crack and crevasse, to make sure you do a thorough job," says the owner of "Rhonda Wozniak Objects Conservator." "What we're trying to do prevent corrosion. Protect it from the environment, essentially. So you want to cover every square-inch."

That takes time, on a North Shore sculpture that weighs three and a half tons. But she says it's worth it.

"So many people are so happy to see this being done, too," she says. "They think it's a great thing that the memorial is here and that it's being maintained."

It's not just statues. Rhonda Wozniak has restored works of art for institutions ranging from the Warhol Museum to an old church in Millvale. At Saint Nicholas Croation Catholic Church, she teams up with another preservation company to restore the historic murals of Croation artist Maxo Vanka.

"Because I'm Croatian," she says, "I feel like I'm preserving a part of my own history."

She says she's preserving the past for future generations.

"That's why I do what I do because, I love that. That's what I live for."

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