Virgin Mary statue returned to Mount St. Mary’s, Maryland


EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) — A 26-foot statue of the Virgin Mary is back in place at a Catholic university in Maryland.

The Frederick News-Post reported that after one year of restoration, the statue was returned to its original position atop the 78-foot pedestal located at Mount St. Mary’s University’s Emmitsburg campus.

This work is ongoing even though the statue has been returned to its original location, which was surrounded by scaffolding. Now, workers are adding gold leaf to the statue’s exterior.

The university has raised $400,000 to support the restoration; about $450,000 more is needed.

The statue will be finished next month with an official ceremony scheduled for October.

The grotto draws about 300,000 visitors a year; it is a replica of the grotto in Lourdes, France, that draws pilgrims to a site where believers say the Virgin Mary appeared in the 19th century.

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