Iconic New York Public Library lions undergoing $250K cleaning, repairs

NEW YORK — The New York Public Library's iconic lions are getting a much-needed restoration in a $250,000 project.

The lions, Patience and Fortitude, will be cleaned, repaired and conserved over a nine-week period.

During the cleaning, which would need to happen every 7 to 10 years, the lions will be laser cleaned while cracks and chips will be repaired.

“The lions have earned some time at the spa,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “For over 100 years, they have stoically guarded our building on bustling Fifth Avenue, delighting visitors and providing calm hope at all times that with knowledge we will prevail. They are the true kings of this city, beloved by all. As great stewards of this building, it is critical that we maintain the lions and ensure that they are strong to inspire everyone for generations to come.”

The project, which is being paid for with a grant from the New York Life Foundation and donations from hundreds of New Yorkers, is set to begin the week of Sept. 2.

The lions were last conserved in 2011, and before that 2004.

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