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Construction is underway on the brick base which will serve as the foundation for a bronze statue of yet another famous super hero icon in Metropolis, Illinois. The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce that it will be unveiling a statue of Noel Neill during the 32nd annual Superman Celebration. Neill is well known for her portrayal of Lois Lane in the memorable television series, The Adventures of Superman.
The unveiling ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, June 11 at the corner of Eighth and Market streets. Neill will be traveling from California for the special honor, and will meet the artist who sculpted her likeness, Gary Ernest Smith, in Metropolis. Smith, and Kevin Maag, from Metal Art Foundry, will make the journey from Utah for the ceremony. Mayor Billy McDaniel and other local officials will also be a part of the unveiling ceremony.
The statue idea was presented to Neil as a gift during her 85th birthday party celebration in California a couple years ago. The statue will be the focus of a corner setting just two blocks from the town's famous 15-foot tall Superman statue.
Smith began sculpting the slightly-larger-than-life statue in his studio in Utah several months ago. The bronze casting was done in mid-May and the patina process was completed last week.
Construction began last week on the base which will contain over 300 engraved bricks. During the last few years, Metropolis residents and fans from across the United States, and even from other countries, have purchased personalized bricks to help fund the $65,000 project.
Neill, also known as "The First Lady of Metropolis," has been a frequent guest of the Superman Celebration.
"Noel has been such a wonderful promoter and supporter of the City of Metropolis, that the Chamber wants to honor her with statue," said Clyde Wills, chairman of the statue project.
Though she first played Lois Lane in the 1948 movie serial, Superman, with Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill is best known for playing the iconic character on television in The Adventures of Superman with legendary actor George Reeves from 1953 to 1957. So identified is she with this role, that her portrayal of the "girl reporter" set the standard for all Lois Lanes yet to come.
For more information about the Noel Neil statue project, contact the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce at 800-949-5740. Engraved bricks may still be ordered for placement in the future.
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