Athena sculpture installed in downtown New London

New London — The newest addition to the city’s downtown public art collection is a life-size bronze sculpture of the Greek goddess Athena, protector of cities.

The monument, designed and sculpted by Connecticut artist Renee Rhodes, officially was dedicated last week during a ceremony with city officials at the corner of Pearl Street and Eugene O’Neill Drive, at the city's redesigned municipal parking lot.

"This project was a wonderful opportunity to join fine art with New London's rich nautical history,” Rhodes said in a written statement. “I created a life-size bronze sculpture of the goddess Athena, protector of cities, standing before a nautical mast and facing out to sea. The monument is to inspire the citizens and welcome visitors.”

The project is a collaboration with Hygienic Art and Kent + Frost, the Mystic-based company that designed the parking lot.

The monument was commissioned as part of the $1.5 million, partially grant-funded project that included a new pedestrian-friendly parking lot, sidewalks, the narrowing of Eugene O’Neill Drive to slow traffic and installation of trees and lighting.

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