Statue gets first cleaning in 20 years

Businessman donates service
By: Stephanie Breitbart Journal Staff Writer
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The Chinese Coolie statue had its first shower in more than 20 years on Wednesday. Mark Sherer, owner of Sparkle Wash in Auburn, donated his services to clean the statue and commemorative bricks at the Chamber of Commerce Lincoln Way headquarters. Sherer used a safe chemical wash to clean the statue and was careful not to take away any of the original texture. “I’m just going to clean the basic pollutants and bird droppings,” Sherer said. “I’m going to lighten up some of the deposits and brighten it up.” Bruce Cosgrove, chief executive officer of the chamber, said the statue was originally purchased in 1989 from Dr. Kenneth H. Fox for $40,000. Fox donated the first $20,000 and community organizations came together to raise the rest. “At first the statue wasn’t for sale,” Cosgrove said. “But his wife convinced him this was the perfect location for the statue.” Cosgrove said Sherer volunteered to clean the statue as a donation to the community. “He wanted to spruce everything up for the Leadership Auburn Class commencement on Friday,” Cosgrove said. “It’s a very expensive process to do this, so it’s a great contribution to the community.” Reach Stephanie Breitbart at