Capitol lions going up for auction

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The four original lions that guarded the State Capitol nearly a century are in bad shape. The Capitol Preservation Board has no need for them, so they're getting rid of them.

The concrete beasts have seen better days. About 100 years old, it's been 10 years since they last guarded the capitol.

"As we started the restoration around 2000, those lions were removed because we were doing some work on the steps on the east and west side," said David Hart, executive director of the Capitol Preservation Board.

Just recently, the board decided it was time to get rid of the cats and voted to put them on eBay.

The historic Capitol lions were created in 1915 by sculptor Gavin Jack. They were prominent fixtures on Capitol Hill until 2004, when the restoration of the Capitol began. The lions were made of concrete, which weathered poorly and required a high amount of maintenance. - *Capitol Preservation Board*
"I think they would be an interesting artifact to put in your front yard," Hart said. "Somebody who has interesting taste might want them. And Hart already has an idea for a starting bid.

"I think maybe a buck," he laughed. "They are of no value to us."

Replacing the relics: four new and improved lions.

"These are out of marble that came from Italy," Hart said. "These lions are unique because they are somewhat docile. You can see they are awake, not asleep, and more welcoming than they are ferocious."

The new lions should last at least 100 years.

Bidding for the old lions starts Monday. The money made, which they're not expecting a lot, will go to Utah State Surplus, which is currently storing the lions.


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Amanda Butterfield


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