Missouri officials are set to unveil a renovated statue that normally sits atop the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, and you’re invited to see it happen on Friday afternoon.

Attendees view the bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, after she was brought down from atop the Missouri State Capitol in November 2018 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at Missouri House Communications

The Office of Administration (OA) plans to unveil Ceres Friday on the Capitol’s south side, next to the media parking lot. The ten-foot, four-inch sculpture of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture and grain, was taken down from the Capitol in November 2018 for the first time since being installed in 1924.

The statue was placed in a flatbed trailer in the Capitol parking lot for public viewing last November, and a large crowd attended the event. One of those who attended was Jefferson City resident John Tandy, who described it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“I doubt if I’ll get to see her restored again in another one hundred years. It’s fantastic. It’s a moment in time that you can’t miss,” Tandy told Missourinet at the November 2018 event.

Crews used a 550-ton crane secured by Chicago-based Bulley and Andrews Masonry Restoration to remove the sculpture last November. Bulley and Andrews is the main contractor performing $50 million in renovation work on the Statehouse, including the $400,000 spent to restore Ceres.

It’s all part of the Capitol’s construction project to bring the building’s structure back to serviceable condition and address deteriorating stonework on the Capitol facades, dome and drum, which was finished in 1917.

OA says Ceres will be unveiled to the Capitol Press Corps Friday afternoon at 3, and public viewing will begin at 3:30 p.m. Ceres will remain on the Capitol’s south side, near the media parking lot, until Monday morning, when she will be taken down. That location is right across the street from the Missouri Supreme Court.

State officials will be providing floodlights and staff to monitor Ceres during public viewing, which will give you an opportunity to see the statue in the evenings.

“Ceres is a treasure for the state of Missouri and the State Capitol. She represents the strength of our farmers and agricultural community. Having her back home and on display will be a once in a lifetime gift for viewers to enjoy this holiday season,” Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe said, in a written statement.

During the restoration, Ceres underwent a laser cleaning treatment to safely remove contaminants, while also preserving her natural color. OA says she will be lifted up to the top of the Capitol during the week of December 16, 260 feet in the air.

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