MLK bust returns

After undergoing two months of repairs, the Martin Luther King Jr. bust was returned to the MLK Plaza on Friday.

The bust received extensive repairs after an unknown suspect vandalized it sometime in early February.

USF officials removed the bust from its pedestal Feb. 7 to prevent it from being stolen because it appeared to have been lifted from the cement with a crowbar.

Vincent Ahern, coordinator for public art at the institute of research in art, said though he hasn’t received a bill for the cost of repairs, he estimates it at about $10,000.

The cost includes artistic repairs the bust received, which lightened the bronze coloring.

In addition, it received engineering repairs needed to improve the bust’s security.

Ahern said the repairs improved the security of the bust so that it will not come loose from its cement pedestal.

In November, the bust was disconnected from the platform and thrown into the reflection pool.

Ahern said he could not go into details about security measures for the bust.

“We’ve been working on it from the get go,” Ahern said.

Multicultural Activities will rededicate the MLK bust with a celebration April 23 at noon.

The first dedication ceremony for the bust was held Nov. 13, 1996. The bust was added to USF as part of a $1.8 million renovation to the plaza.