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Art Institute’s Lions Spotted On The Highway After Being Taken Away To Be Cleaned

The lions will be gone for about a month, according to the Art Institute. They'll be steam cleaned and get a wax coating.

DNAinfo Chicago
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CHICAGO — Lions were spotted prowling on the 290 on Tuesday — but they’re not the kind you should be afraid of.

The Art Institute’s famous bronze lions were removed from their Downtown pedestals early Tuesday so they can be cleaned, a move the museum had announced in advance. A large crane hoisted them onto trucks, where they were secured and driven away.

Sperry Walker tweeted a photo of the lions on the 290 near Damen Avenue:

The lions will be gone for about a month, according to the Art Institute. They’ll be steam cleaned and get a wax coating.

The sculptures were made in 1893 by Edward Kemeys and “require expert care to preserve them for generations to come,” according to the Art Institute.

The lions were also taken down for maintenance in 2001.

The lions are often dressed up to mark important Chicago moments. They wore Bears helmets after the 1985 Super Bowl, Chicago Sky uniforms after the team’s recent championship and wore masks after the onset of COVID-19.

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