BRAF to unveil restored downtown MLK memorial

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation was scheduled this morning to unveil the newly restored Martin Luther King Jr. memorial downtown after two months of work to bring the sculpture back in good condition, however the event was postponed due to the rainstorms. 

The memorial, a 1,200-pound contemporary sculpture, was installed on the River Center Plaza downtown in 1997. Over the years, the metal sculpture’s paint had faded and it needed new weatherizing to protect it from extreme heat and cold. Art restorer Susie Anders led the project, which started in February. 

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the mayor’s office, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and many civic and business leaders teamed up in the early 1990s to kick start fundraising for the project, and the same stakeholder organizations began discussions in 2017 about restoring Silverman’s work.

The pandemic put progress on hold, but in mid-2020 the project regained steam, BRAF says, with former BRAF chair Virginia Noland leading a committee that raised more than $70,000 for the restoration.    

Read more about the restoration project and when the rescheduled unveiling will take place from BRAF.