CHICAGO (CBS) — A statue of legendary Chicago newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet is missing from its perch on Wacker Drive, but all is well, it’s just getting some repairs.
“It didn’t get stolen,” said Andrzej Dajnowski, director of the Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio in Forest Park, which is fixing the pedestal
The statue, depicting Kupcinet with a newspaper under his right arm, was taken down about a week ago for repairs to the pedestal.
“If you were a thief, you would have been caught immediately, because there were so many people walking by, and police and everybody around noticed what we were doing,” Dajnowski said.
The stone base now sits empty, wrapped in yellow caution tape. To get the 9-foot bronze statue off its pedestal and to Dajnowski’s studio in Forest Park, crews cut the pins that were holding the sculpture to its base.
Dajnowski said the statue itself wasn’t damaged, just the front and top of the stone pedestal. However, due to the damage to the base, he said the statue needed to be removed for safety reasons.
“It will take, I don’t know, a few months probably; because I need to get the right kind of stone for the base, and I need to get it cut, polished,” he said. “Then we need to attach it to the base, and after that we need to drill through it. So there is some work involved that will take time.”
He’ll also wash and wax the bronze statue of Kupcinet before placing it on its base.
The statue was erected at the corner of Wabash and Wacker in 2006, on what would have been Kupcinet’s 94th birthday. It stood across the river from the Trump Tower, which was once the site of the Chicago Sun-Times building, where Kupcinet worked for more than half a century before his death.
Kupcinet was most famous for “Kup’s Column” a daily summary of local celebrity news and gossip that ran for more than six decades in the Sun-Times and, before that The Daily Times and The Chicago Sun.
He started as a sports writer before penning his gossip column, and before becoming a reporter, was a football player at Northwestern and the Philadelphia Eagles before a serious shoulder injury ended his athletic career.