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Art Institute’s Lions Return, Cleaner And Greener

The beloved lions have returned to their spots at the Art Institute’s Michigan Avenue entrance.

The Art Institute's lions were reinstalled Tuesday.
Leen Yassine/Block Club Chicago
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DOWNTOWN — The Art Institute’s lions have returned to their rightful thrones — and they’re cleaner and greener.

The beloved bronze statues were removed in June for a deep cleaning and a fresh coating of wax. They were returned Tuesday via crane to their pedestals at the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan Ave.

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.

Credit: Leen Yassine/Block Club Chicago
The Art Institute’s lions were reinstalled Tuesday.

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