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By VINCE LUECKE
A landmark statue that has instilled inspiration and faith for more than 50 years will stand for years to come, thanks to work completed this summer.
The Christ of the Ohio statue in Troy has undergone repairs to the 19-foot-tall statue itself, its base and nearby surroundings, thanks to donations from the community.
Troy contractor Bret Kleeman, helped by relatives and others, has overseen the work, which included fixing surface cracks in the statue as well as the mortar joints in the statue’s base. A sandstone wall along the cliff that shifted over the years has been rebuilt and a small walkout deck, under construction last week, will allow visitors to safely take photos of the front of the statue. A new sidewalk has been poured allowing visitors to reach the statue without walking through the grass.
“We want to make sure the statue is accessible to everyone, whether they are walking or in a wheelchair,” Kleeman said.
There are plans to surface the gravel driveway leading to a small parking area near the statue.
The statue was made by Herbert Jogerst, a former German prisoner of war who met a monk from St. Meinrad. After the war, Jogerst was asked to create the statue as a tribute to river travelers past, present and future. Jogerst described the statue of Christ, with outstretched arms, as a “silent messenger for peace.”
The project was completed in 1956. Barge pilots still shine their spotlights on the landmark as they pass by.
How to help
Donations to support repairs and preservation to the Christ of the Ohio Statue can be made payable to the town of Troy, Preservation of Christ of the Ohio and mailed to P.O. Box 37, Troy, IN 47588.