There is a lot of work bringing a famous statue back to its plaza

Getting the famous statute of  José Figueres Ferrer returned to the Plaza de la Democracia is much more involved than just calling the movers.

In fact, the statute is just hanging around, literally, in the Museo Nacional awaiting the money to be reinstalled.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said Tuesday that the process, the place to put the statute and what to put it on is the decision by an agency called the Comisión Pro Monumento.

This includes representatives from  the ministry, the  Ministerio de Educación Pública and Municipalidad de San José.

During his three terms as president, Figueres was a bit blasé about money. That is not the case now as the ministry promised to respect the central government edict on austerity, regardless of any political overtones.

The estimate to reposition the monument reached $146,793 in one proposal by an organization called Grupo de Amigos de Don Pepe. Instead, the ministry wants to spend about 15 million colons, some $27,500.

That is not to say that the statue is not getting a good treatment.

Sylvie Durán Salvatierra, the culture minister, said that relocating the monument in the plaza is a project of great importance reflecting the role of  Figueres in abolishing the army, and promoting education. In fact, the museum building in which the statue is now housed was the capital’s military headquarters until Figueres took action.

Over much of last year and into this year, workers at the museum have been working on the statue to clean it, reinforce parts of it and to apply a protective coating on the bronze.

And a new bronze base for the statue already has been cast, said the ministry.

Right now the statue is standing upright in the museum, but there is a cord around the neck that is tied to a beam to prevent the larger-than-life work from falling.

A restorer at the museum works on the statute.

A restorer at the museum works on the statute.

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