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Parks Department Spruces Up Historic Staten Island Statues

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 9, 2012 12:33pm

STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island's statues have been spruced up.

The New York City Parks Department cleaned several aging land marks on the North Shore as part of its Citywide Monuments Conservation Program Wednesday morning.

The CMCP rounded up graduate student interns who scrubbed, cleaned and polished the monuments in Snug Harbor, St. George and Tompkinsville, the Parks Department said.

"It's a lot of sprucing up and cleaning," said Tara Kiernan, a department spokeswoman.

In Snug Harbor, the CMCP set their sights on the detailed Neptune Fountain and Icon II.

The Neptune Fountain, made in 1994, was a reproduction of an original 1893 zinc statue of the Roman god Neptune atop a sea serpent. The fountain recently made an appearance in Walt Stillman's new film "Damsels in Distress," the Parks Department spokeswoman said.

The CMCP cleaned the bronze reproduction and renewed its protective coating.

Icon II in Snug Harbor was also cleaned by interns. The concrete sculpture, designed by Seena Donneson, underwent a cleaning and assessment, Parks said.

The CMCP also cleaned two war monuments inside Staten Island parks. The Major Clarence T. Barrett Memorial, built in 1915 at Stuyvesant Place, St. George, was given a facelift along with Allen Newman's Hiker statue, in Tompkinsville Park, which honors local soldiers who fought in the Spanish-American war, said the spokeswoman.

CMCP started in 1997 and has conserved 60 statues in the five boroughs since. The CMCP recruits graduate students of historic preservation and conservation as interns to give them hands-on experience in the field.