Sculptor demands careful deliberation over the fate of Joe Patero’s statue
Just a week ago, a plane with the banner “Take the statue down or we will,” flew over school, which sparked an aggressive response from the Penn State students who launched a protest calling for the protection of Joe Paterno’s statue.
Thus, as always there are two sides to the story. Penn State administration and the Paterno family were met by harsh criticism following the release of the Freeh report, which indicated that Joe Paterno hired Jerry Sandusky despite having knowledge of the 1998 charges against. The Freeh group hired by the Penn State trustees to investigate the school’s top level administration and coaching staff’s role in hiding sexual abuse incidents also found Joe Paterno an accessory to a cover-up of the 2001 sexual abuse incident. The report contested the credibility of Joe Paterno’s testimony in front of the grand jury and his interview following being fired from Penn State after Jerry Sandusky’s arrest.
The sculptor of Joe Paterno’s statue is himself caught between rock and a hard place, just thinking over what may be the best option at the moment.
“I think we should all wait on it. Put a cover on it,” said the statue’s sculptor Angelo Di Maria. “Let's see how everyone feels in six months ... or a year.”
Angelo Di Maria was hired by the Penn State and “Friends of Joe and Sue Paterno” to design a life-size statue of Joe Paterno. The 65-year-old Angelo Di Maria has been frequently recruited by the Penn State to work on their donors program, and before the scandal his statue had been a tribute to Joe Paterno, outside the Beaver Stadium, with an inscription reading: “Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”
However, since then times have changed and Joe Paterno has slowly been stripped of all of honors given to him before and after his death from cancer this year.
The painter of the Penn State mural that showcased Joe Paterno with a halo around his head painted it over with a blue ribbon in support of child abuse awareness, while Nike removed the coach’s name off its child welfare center. Others are following suit demanding Joe Peterno’s name be removed from the school library.
“All the focus is on the statue right now, but horrible crimes were committed,” exclaimed Angelo Di Maria. “Let's move on away from Joe Paterno. He's gone, he's passed on.”
“A lot of people aren't putting things into perspective right now,” continued Angelo Di Maria, shedding light on the demands to remove Joe Paterno’s name from reminder whether it is a threshold of good or bad memories.
Angelo Di Maria stated that while he sympathizes with the victims, uprooting tributes to Joe Paterno may be an injustice to his fan and all mementos of his more noble causes.
“The statue, everything that's associated with them in a positive way, do we have to pay attention to them also?” questioned Angelo Di Maria “Or should we just throw everything away that Joe Paterno ever did in a positive way?”