The Fenway Civic Association is hoping to restore the statute of Scottish poet Robert Burns - and his faithful companion, Luath - to its original perch in the Fens sometime this summer, association Vice President Matthew Brooks says.
"We intend to make the return of the Robert Burns statue an event similar to the original dedication with dignitaries, poetry reading, bagpipers, etc.," Brooks says.
The exact date of his formal return to the Fens depends on how soon the group can raise roughly $25,000 to pay for some immediate preservation work and long-term maintenance of the statue, he says.
Henry Hudson Kitson's statue of Burns had originally been unveiled in the Fens in a ceremony led by then Gov. Calvin Coolidge in 1920. It was unceremoniously moved to Winthrop Square in 1975 as a favor from City Hall to the developer who restored the building at 1 Winthrop Square, but who was unable to convince a Back Bay church to give up its statue of John Winthrop and who didn't want to pay to commission a new statue.
Millennium Partners, which is building a $1.3-billion skyscraper on the site of the former Winthrop Square garage, has agreed to pick up the tab for conservation work - which will include deep cleaning the statue and applying a protective coating to it - and moving the homage to the author of "Auld Lang Syne" back to the Fenway as part of its plans to re-do Winthrop Square.
The money the association is raising will create a maintenance fund to repair any possible vandalism and to reapply the coating if needed for at least the next five years.
Both the Boston Arts Commission and the Boston Landmarks Commission have approved the move.