By Ashley Rader
To the casual observer, he might look pretty good for someone who went to war more than 230 years ago.
But to an art restorer, he looked a bit too well-traveled.
So the Overmountain Man at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is getting a facelift in preparation for Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s visit Friday to officially open the park’s new interpretive state history museum.
Artist and art restorer Mary Ruden is working to bring the statue of an Overmountain Man back to its original condition.
Ruden said the bronze statue was not properly sealed and protected when it was originally completed in 1999. As a result, environmental factors and pollution had begun to damage the statue. She said damage is minimal at this point, but that the statue needed to be protected to keep it in good condition.
“Corrosion develops and will undermine the integrity of the statue,” Ruden said. “The pores in the surface of the statue are open. The statue needs to be cleaned and sealed to protect it from further damage.”