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Article updated: 3/6/2013 7:43 AM

Price tag, wait for U of Ill. statue's return grow

Associated Press

URBANA -- The University of Illinois has announced it will have to wait longer than expected to welcome home one of its icons. And it will be more expensive than planned to get it back.

University officials said Monday the Alma Mater statue needs more restoration work than originally thought and won't be back by May as initially planned.

Instead, the 83-year-old bronze statue of a robed woman flanked by figures celebrating "Learning" and "Labor" is now expected to return sometime during the 2014 school year.

The price tag rose from about $100,000 to $360,000. The school says alumni donations are paying for the work.

The 5-ton statue by artist Lorado Taft has long stood at Wright and Green streets on campus. The statue was removed for repairs in August 2012.

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