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After nearly a century of keeping watch over Bascom Hill, I finally got a bath in 1999. And just in the nick of time, too, because all those years of dirt and grime were taking a toll on my complexion! I was given a thorough cleaning as part of UW-Madison’s sesquicentennial celebration. After a washing with gentle detergent, a combination of chemicals was applied to get rid of the green patina that built up on my bronze figure from decades of pollution. Then I got a nice coat of hot wax, which is now part of my annual cleaning ritual. If you come to visit me, you’ll see that I’m a beautiful brownish bronze hue instead of streaky green. As you can imagine, 90 years of student shenanigans and nature’s wrath left their mark. Over time, the eagle on my chair back was corroded by acid rain, and other fine details would have been lost to the ages without this much-needed beauty treatment. The rumor you heard is true — the cleaning crew found a tiny postage stamp-sized graduation photo stuck to my nose! They also removed the red and green paint on my face from student protests, and dug some wasp nests out of my armpits.

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