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A Lion by Any Other Color. . .

The conservation team in front of the Southwest Lion during cleaning. Left to Right: Assistant Objects Conservator Paige Schmidt, USS Monitor Collections Manager Mike Saul, Assistant Conservator Laurie King, Archaeological Conservator Erik Farrell, and Volunteer Conservator Arianna DiMucci. Image Credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park, photographer: Crystal R. Hines

If you’ve visited our Lions Bridge over the last couple of weeks, you may have seen our signature Lions turning shades of red and orange. Never Fear! Nothing is wrong. Rather, the conservation team is giving our Lions a ‘grooming.’

These cleaning sessions are done to maintain the longevity of our Lions. Biological growth and air pollution on the limestone sculptures and granite bases will damage them over time.

Our experts selected a cleaning solution that has a long track record in conservation, is non-toxic, and biodegradable.

As the various biological growths (lichen, mold, algae, and mildew) die, they change color. They go through varying stages of orange and red as they die, and once they are fully inactivated they can be washed away.

These ‘grooming’ sessions are a part of an ongoing maintenance program for all of the outdoor collection. The cleaning of our Lions will happen every year to maintain the beauty of Lions Bridge and preserve this community landmark. If you have any questions, please let us know!

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