DIAMOND — Dry bronze wool, a small bristle paint brush, a pointed stick, and elbow grease are the main tools for cleaning the bronze statue and dedication plaque at the George Washington Carver National Monument.

DIAMOND — Dry bronze wool, a small bristle paint brush, a pointed stick, and elbow grease are the main tools for cleaning the bronze statue and dedication plaque at the George Washington Carver National Monument.
Bob and Marianne Marti of Conservation Services, Inc. California, Missouri, are doing the cleaning and restoration work with the assistance of Victoria Pollard, a George Washington Carver summer intern.
Pollard is working on her masters degree in architecture at Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia. She has been interning at the Monument this summer and was asked to help with the restoration.
Pollard is enjoying her stay and says, "The people here have been nice."
She also stated this is the farthest west she has ever been in the United States.  
The Boy Carver Statue and plaque show little wear after many years. Marianne said the main reason is the lack of pollution in the Diamond, Missouri area. Pollution in the air tends to increase deterioration and decay of bronzes and other materials.
Marianne and Victoria are mainly working on the Boy Carver Statue. This statue has been on the grounds since 1961, while the dedication plague has been telling the tale of Carver since 1953.
The first procedure of the restoration is cleaning, especially the old wax that was put on when Conservation Services did work several years ago. The crew also checks for dirt in cracks and any corrosion.
After the statue and plaque have been adequately cleaned, they are coated with a wax to protect the finish.
Bob Marti, who did most of the work on the plague, said it is more difficult because it has flat surfaces which show any blemish. After careful cleaning, he also applied a bit of stain to make the surface seem all of the same color. The plaque, too, will get a coat of wax.
He said that after doing this kind of work for many years, “I have learned a few tricks of the trade.”
Conservation Services has been helping preserve these important parts of the George Washington Monument for many years. Bob Marti thinks he first restored the plaque in 1988.
Bob and Marianna will take the huge bust of George Washington Carver back to their workshop in California, Missouri. The bust, which sits on a pedestal northwest of the Visitor Center, it will have all the gold paint removed and replaced. The bust is made of cement with a heavy coating of gold paint on top.
The restoration of the plaque and statue will be done in two or three days, and the bust should be restored and back in place for Prairie Days this fall.
The Boy Statue and the dedication plaque have taken on a special, shiny glow after their restoration. They are once again ready for viewing by the many visitors at George Washington Carver Monument.