Good Friday seemed to be the appropriate time to unveil a new “Christ the Resurrection” statue at Springdale Cemetery.
A small group gathered at the cemetery for a brief ceremony to unveil the new statue in, again appropriately, the Resurrection section of the cemetery. VIDEO HERE
The old statue had stood on the same site for 70 to 80 years, according to Jack Gove, Chairman of the Springdale Cemetery Foundation’s Monument Restoration Committee.
“Both arms had been broken off, probably by vandals,” Gove said. “We looked to replace those arms. But as Heritage Restoration and Design looked at the total statue, they found there were cracks at the bottom and we could not retain it.”
Owner of President of Heritage Restoration and Design in Peoria, Michael Berlinger, said the new statue was carved in Europe from a block of travertine marble.
“The block itself originally started with the dimensions of about three-feet deep, five-feet wide and eight-feet high with a total weight of 13,000 pounds,” Berlinger said. “The weight of the current statue is virtually identical to a 2019 Volkswagen Beetle…about 3,500 pounds.”
“The statue stands a full six feet high. As marble slowly wears, I believe this statue will be very noticeable for at least the next 100 years,” Berlinger said.
“I think the final product is a good style for Springdale Cemetery,” Berlinger said. “The face of Christ shows a certain regalness, but also a merciful face as we would expect. At this location, he will serve as a guiding beacon for anyone who comes to visit loved ones buried in the cemetery.”
The occasion of unveiling of the statue on Good Friday was not lost on Gove.
“It’s significant to show Christ in the Resurrection section. And he is, indeed, shown with marks on his hands,” Gove said. “It’s important to do that on Good Friday, just before Easter.”
Bill and Cindy Winkler paid for the statue.
“Why do this?,” Winkler addressed the crowd. “One word. Hope. Do we all need hope nowadays.”
Gove said there are still an estimated 3,000 monuments in Springdale Cemetery that need to be restored. The Monument Restoration Committee depends on gifts and donations to continue the working restoring the monuments.