A campaign is underway to place a statue of late film critic Roger Ebert in front of a theater in central Illinois that hosted his namesake film festival. Organizers in Champaign are running the Robert Ebert Sculpture fundraiser. They hope to raise $125,000 to build a life-size bronze sculpture of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Sun-Times film critic in front of the Virginia Theater. The theater hosts Ebertfest each year. Ebert is from neighboring Urbana and went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The statue will show Ebert sitting in movie theater chairs and giving his signature ``thumbs up.'' His widow, Chaz Ebert, is working with artist Rick Harney of Bloomington on the design. Ebert died in April in Chicago after a long battle with cancer.
(photo credit: Jeff Bossert)
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