Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gresham Mansion's Stolen Winged Lion Returned

After more than two and a half years of absence, the winged lion that was stolen from its perch at the entrance to the 1893 Bishop’s Palace at 14th Street and Broadway will soon return home. Galveston Historical Foundation announced today that the 3-foot tall, 80- pound cast zinc statue, stolen in May of 2008, has been recovered. It will be restored and remounted on its granite and sandstone pillar opposite its twin, according to Dwayne Jones, GHF Executive Director.

“We were heartbroken when the statue was discovered missing,” said Jones, “but we found a lot of support from the community and around the state in trying to locate it. Still, after a year, and then two years, without success, I frankly had lost hope of ever seeing it again.”
The statue was found and purchased by an anonymous donor who notified GHF and made it available to foundation staff, according to Jones. GHF operates the Bishop’s Palace, which is owned by the Galveston/Houston Archdiocese. “It is the most popular historic attraction in Galveston,” said Jones. “People all over really have a lot of affection for it—and for the lions that seem to guard the entrance.”
“We are delighted to have the lion back,” said Jones, “but it will take some repairs to the column and the casting itself before we can put it back where it belongs. It will be a lot more securely fastened this time. We don’t want to lose it again.”
Plans for a celebration of the statue’s return are underway, and will be announced soon, said Jones.

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