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Art Institute Lions To Wear Bears Helmets

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Art Institute Lion

An Art Institute Lion wearing a Bears helmet, to honor the Bears’ Super Bowl run in January 1986. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – The Art Institute lions will be showing their support for the Bears starting Friday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Julie Mann reports, the three-ton bronze lions that stand outside the iconic museum at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street will be outfitted with Chicago Bears helmets, as well as custom-made earmuffs and scarves.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Julie Mann reports

Adorning the lions with sports headgear has become a tradition when one of Chicago’s sports teams heads toward contention for a championship.

The lions wore Blackhawks helmets last year as the Hawks took the Stanley Cup.

Back in 2005, they sported White Sox helmets as the South Siders went on to win the World Series. But the lions haven’t shown support for the Cubs since their National League division championship victory in 1984, despite the fact that the Cubs have won that title four times since then.

The lions also donned Bears helmets when the Bears made the Super Bowl in the 2006-2007 season, and of course, in their victorious and legendary 1985-1986 season.

The lions date from 1893, when the Art Institute first opened in its current location. They were a gift from Mrs. Henry Field, who also donated a valuable collection of oil paintings to honor her late husband.

Sculptor Edward Kemeys created the lions, which are named for their poses — the north lion is “on the prowl,” while the south lion “stands in an attitude of defiance,” according to the Art Institute.

The lions even have their own Twitter page.

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