SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Secretary of State’s office announced it expects to reinstall the Springfield statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. this summer following a successful restoration of the sculpture that was vandalized in 2022.

“As we celebrate freedom this month, it’s essential that we continue to commemorate the history making achievements of Dr. King and his pursuit for freedom for all Americans, regardless of their skin color,” Giannoulias said. “His relentless efforts to build a fairer society and his life-long devotion to civil rights make him one of the world’s most influential individuals.”

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A 24-year-old man was arrested for vandalizing and knocking over the sculpture in 2022.

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The statue of the slain civil rights leader is expected to return to Springfield’s “Freedom Corner” at the intersection of 2nd Street and Capitol Avenue next month. Crews recently poured the concrete that will secure the base of the sculpture. After the concrete cures and settles, the sculpture will be replaced.

The renovated statue will feature the craftmanship of Illinois-based Sculpture Resource, which restored the statue. The repaired sculpture will sport a refinished bronze surface and come equipped with fortified attachment points and a new bronze base, designed to better secure it.

Meanwhile, state officials are continuing discussions regarding a new MLK statue on the Capitol Complex grounds in Springfield to further honor his legacy and contributions. In January 2023, Illinois lawmakers approved legislation calling for a new MLK sculpture at a new location that has yet to be determined.

Once the General Assembly and the Office of the Architect move forward with the new statue, the Secretary of State will work closely to ensure a location is found that is appropriate for the deference Dr. King deserves.

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