By Anita Oh
STATE COLLEGE, P.A., (CBS) — Penn State fans will soon get to see another Joe Paterno statue. Two replicas are currently being made after the original statue was removed from campus following the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.
It was important for the artists to take on this project. Yesid Gomez and Wilfer Buitrago have been sculpting, molding and chiseling away on a seven-foot, 1,000 pound statue.
“Penn State made a statement and we’re making a statement back,” said Gomez.
That statement is two replicas of the Joe Paterno statue that was long-standing at Penn State until 2012. “They just took a big machine and propped it out of the floor with no hesitation,” Gomez said as he described the removal of the statue.
The two cousins made the original statue and the University has not yet put it back. Once again, the artists are taking the clay into their own hands despite controversy and threats from those opposed.
“We believe it was unfair what happened,” Buitrago said. “We want to honor Joe Paterno with this new statue.”
“We are creators. We are not in politics. We are not cops…this is who we are,” Gomez said as he looked down at his clay-stained hands.
The plan is to donate one statue to the Paterno family and one will be taken to Penn State football games and elsewhere around the county.
There is one big difference. In the original, Paterno was holding up the number one, while in the new statue he holds up a closed fist. Buitrago explains that decision was made because Paterno’s focus was never on being number one.
Still, it may be the only Paterno statue that fans will get to see. A Penn State University spokesman tells Eyewitness News that there are no plans to put the original statue back at this time. The school will also not release its location, but insists that it is being kept safely stored.”