Restoring History

Each spring, Doug Martenson stands eye-to-eye with Benjamin Franklin.

He cleans the buckles on Franklin's shoes, the folds of his robes, and the buttons on his vest. Martenson then covers Franklin in protective wax.

Martenson takes about two weeks each spring—before the humid days and punishing summer sun—to clean and maintain Penn's 19 bronze sculptures across campus. This annual maintenance cycle is a must to protect the iconic Franklin sculpture on College Green, William Pepper in the Perelman Quad, Pan With Sundial in front of the Van Pelt- Dietrich Library and others from sun, acidic rain, and normal wear-and-tear.

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Photos by Scott Spitzer, University Communications