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Harwell's glasses are back on statue

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Detroit News/Robin BucksonThe white bronze statue of legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell had its glasses ripped off sometime this summer. The glasses have been reattached to the figure.

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DETROIT -- The statue of the late Ernie Harwell is looking good again.

A worker from a Michigan foundry re-attached a new pair of glasses yesterday to the white bronze statue of Harwell that stands inside Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. Someone had ripped the original eyeglasses off the statue.

No one knows exactly when they were broken off or who did it, but stadium officials alerted the company behind the work earlier this summer that the glasses were missing, said sculptor Lou Cella of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany outside Chicago.

"Ernie wore pretty delicate glasses, at least during the age we depicted him," Cella said. "We initially made them as durable as we could. If somebody wants to go all out and rip the things off, they can just do it."

Harwell, a baseball announcing legend, died in May 2010 at the age of 92. Cella met with Harwell while the piece was being created.

He said he anticipated "what might go wrong" as he was working on the statue.

"In the case of the glasses, you're making a choice between other ways that are much more durable, but you sacrifice aesthetic appeal," he said, adding that it is not unusual for vandals or overzealous fans to break off pieces of statues.

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