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Union Square Monuments Get Cleaned Ahead Of Independence Day

Statues Get Washed And Waxed
Workers clean the statue of General George Washington in Union Square Park - July 2, 2013 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

Workers clean the statue of General George Washington in Union Square Park – July 2, 2013 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - New York City wants to make sure some of its monuments are ready for Independence Day celebrations.

A high pressure hose was brought out Tuesday morning to wash four of the monuments in Union Square Park.

“They get grimy from city dirt,” city monuments conservation manager John Saunders said.

They started with the statue of General George Washington, the oldest public sculpture in the city, even making sure to get behind his ears, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported.

Saunders said it also needed hot wax from the tip of his head to the bottom to the horse’s hooves.

Next in line were President Abraham Lincoln and Marquis de Lafayette, as well as the Independence Flagstaff, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

“We’ll go up with roofing torches, propane torches, heat them up and apply new wax,” Saunders said.

Also among the Union Square monuments are James Fountain, a piece by German sculptor Karl Adolph Donndorf, which was not getting washed, and a 1986 statue of Mohandas Gandhi, which only gets washed on Gandhi’s birthday.

Of them all, Saunders couldn’t pick a favorite.

Workers clean the statue of General George Washington in Union Square Park - July 2, 2013 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

Workers clean the statue of General George Washington in Union Square Park – July 2, 2013 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

“George is the oldest statue in the city. Gandhi’s an awful nice guy too,” he told Miller.

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