The original statue was removed in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal. At the time of the removal, then-Penn State president Rodney Erickson said the statue was a “source of division and an obstacle to healing” and that it would be a reminder to child abuse victims everywhere.
By Annie Ross
The redemption of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno is continuing.
The iconic statue of Paterno was removed from the front of Beaver Stadium in 2012, but a replica is in the works and could make its debut this fall.
Yesid Gomez and Wilfer Buitrago, two cousins who did the casting work on the original Paterno statue based on a sculpture by Angelo Di Maria, have been working on two replicas in a secret location in the Lancaster County borough of Ephrata.
The replicas are similar to the original statue, which was unveiled in 2001 except instead of Paterno raising a No. 1 with his right hand, he’s clinching a fist in defiance.
Gomez and Buitrago are self-financing the $100,000 project and the two sculptors have not received permission from Penn State, the Paterno family, or Di Maria, who has the copyright to the original design, to create it. However, the sculptors do plan to give one statue to the Paterno family (though it’s unclear whether it would accept) and the other will be on a tour of display at various locations — including Beaver Stadium — for Penn State fans to enjoy. Neither Penn State nor the Paterno family has commented publicly about the new statues.
The clay statue still needs about another month to mold and then it will take another five months to bronze.