The Alma Mater sculpture that's greeted students at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus for more than 80 years is going on break. The iconic sculpture by Lorado Taft will be taken down next week, disassembled and shipped to a conservation studio in suburban Chicago for $100,000 worth of renovations. The 13-foot sculpture features a female figure with her arms outstretched. She's standing in front of a chair and is flanked by two others. University officials say the sculpture was dedicated in 1929 and has gone decades without proper maintenance. The Alma Mater's last major repair was done by a university sculpture professor in 1981. His team strengthened its internal supports, replaced some rusted bolts, sprayed it with rust inhibitor and caulked the statue's joints.
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