Citizens rally behind restoration of Andre sculpture

By Louis Bettcher | Jun 11, 2018
Photo by: Louis Bettcher The sculpture of Andre the Seal, seen June 11, is being restored by Andreas von Huene.

Rockport — As of June 11, over $3,000 has been donated by members of the public to help fund repairs made to the sculpture of Andre the Seal in Rockport Harbor. The Town of Rockport has created a GoFundMe page to help pay for the project, and so far 38 individuals have donated toward a $6,000 goal.

American sculptor Jane Wasey created the sculpture 40 years ago, carving the sea mammal from limestone and affixing it to a granite base. Since 1979 the sculpture has begun to deteriorate, and deep cracks have formed along its surface over the years.

On April 19, Woolwich-based sculptor Andreas von Huene submitted an estimate to Town Manager Rick Bates for the proposed work to the monument which totals approximately $14,000. In his proposal von Huene suggests that the sculpture be moved to the garage of the harbormaster's office.

"The three main components of this repair effort are the refitting and attachment of the face, the stabilization of cracks found elsewhere on the sculpture and the installation of reinforcements. I plan on completing these repairs by July 15, 2018," said von Huene, who has since started work on the project.

Last month the Rockport Garden Club donated $2,500 to the non-profit organization Legacy Rockport, which will be overseeing the project. A check was presented to Legacy's Lynda Clancy, who is also the Chairman of the Rockport 125th Committee, which raised funds to celebrate the town's 125th year, in 2016.

In an email sent to Rockport Select Board Chair Ken McKinley and Bates on April 18, Clancy said that $26,000 remains in the Rockport 125th Committee account. Clancy recommends on behalf of the committee that $6,000 of this be dedicated to the sculpture's repairs as well. Members of the Select Board are expected to discuss further fundraising plans for the project at upcoming meetings.

Andre is believed to have been born on May 16, 1961. A plaque at the base of the monument states that he was abandoned at birth, then raised by Harry Goodridge of Rockport. Soon after, Andre became a fixture in the harbor, where he performed tricks from his float. He was named an honorary harbormaster and gained posthumous national celebrity as the subject of the 1994 film "Andre."

On June 11 the sculpture had been returned to its place in Rockport Marine Park and is temporarily cordoned off. The "face" of the stone sculpture is currently absent and is being repaired, due to the deep cracks which ran down that portion of the sculpture.

Donations on the GoFundMe page currently range from $10 to $400. Donations may be made by visiting gofundme.com/andre-the-seal-restoration.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 11, 2018 15:15

Harry and Andre used to be inseparable. From bathtub to walks to the harbor and then permanently in the harbor. Andre used to jump into row boats and entertain, whomever. Wonderful that he is being repaired as the harbor would not be the same without him. Memories live on with some of us "old timers".



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