Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 3, 2008
Landmark Jesus statue on its way to new home
Fragile Christ the Teacher survives to rise again
By LASHA MORNINGSTAR
“It will be reassembled, resurfaced and ready to last for centuries.”
- Rick Mooney
The move evokes many memories for Father Joe Murphy. The retired Redemptorist remembers when the statue first stood on the grounds of Holy Redeemer College in 1960.
“It (the sculpture) had been a dream of (Father) Gabriel Ehman for years,” says Murphy. Architect Peter Thornton suggested sculptor Elek Imredy — an Hungarian refugee — be commissioned for the work.
“Imredy told us it (the statue) was made out of a special composition including glue used in airplanes in Hungary,” remembers Murphy. Imredy crafted the statue in his Vancouver studio, cut it into five pieces and shipped it to Edmonton.
As bursar of the college, Murphy oversaw Imredy’s reassembling of the statue the college called Christ the Teacher. The only problem that arose happened when hairline cracks appeared throughout the statue a few months later and Imredy was summoned back to repair his work.
It turned out the statue was so airtight, the moisture had no place to expand. A louvre installed in the statue’s back and barely discernable holes in the underarms solved the problem.
Now that the statue is into storage, Waidman will be in charge of restoration and repair of the 48-year-old work of art.
“It will be reassembled, resurfaced and ready to last for centuries,” proclaims Mooney.
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