PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Campaign Selling Paterno Statue Figurines Made By Original Sculptor

If you spent any time outside of Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon ahead of the Nittany Lions’ primetime matchup with Ohio State, you likely noticed an eye-catching banner soaring through the State College skies. Distinct Collectibles, a figurine retailer, funded a plane that was trailed by four words: “Bring The Statue Home.”

The company has a trio of co-owners in Jim Miller, Thomas Heck, and Penn State alumnus Mike Flanagan. As of now, Distinct Collectibles is selling just one product: a bronze figurine replication of the Joe Paterno Statue hand-crafted by Angelo Di Maria, the Sicily-born and Reading-raised man who designed the original statue.

The company is trying to boost support with its Bring The Statue Home campaign, which is of course asking for the return of Di Maria’s Paterno sculpture to its resting spot outside the stadium.

“We are so very pleased to honor Joe Paterno’s legacy and to provide a unique way for other admirers to remember and honor his commitment and generosity of spirit with this beautiful work of art,” Flanagan said.

That’s all good and well until you take a look at Di Maria’s thoughts on the statue’s removal back in 2012. Despite being the designer of the famous piece of art, Di Maria denounced his work entirely after it was taken down. In fact, he told The Washington Times that the statue is “nothing more than 900 pounds of dead metal” to him and that its removal “had to be done.”

Di Maria was no Paterno sympathizer, either. After the scandal took its course, the sculptor said that Paterno “made a mistake and a very big mistake” and that he understood the university’s decision to take down his statue.

The artist is proudly featured on the Distinct Collectibles website on his own “About The Artist” page. In a press release, the company boasted that each of the $590 figurines are hand-crafted and casted in bronze resin by Di Maria himself.

But when asked about Di Maria’s role at Distinct Collectibles, company media contact Camille Dager was quick to distance the retailer from the artist.

“Angelo Di Maria is not an owner and has no role within the company,” she said. “He is the artist who sculpted the iconic statue of Joe Paterno that stood at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium and which is now being reproduced by Distinct Collectibles.”

When the Paterno statue was removed in 2012, Di Maria said that a part of him is in the art, but that he is “willing to go along with the just or fair decision.”

While there’s nothing wrong with selling expensive Paterno figurines or his opinion on the removal, it’s simply interesting to note that the company is branding its work as a line of products that “pay tribute to individuals whose commitment and generosity of spirit enriched the lives of those around them” and getting the word out with a plane asking for the statue back.

That very same work is hand-made by a man who was all for taking down the statue and hasn’t yet publicly reversed course on that sentiment.

About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

Comments

More by Zach

Penn Stater Named To Olympic Committee’s Centre for Safe Sport’s Inaugural Board

The Center for Safe Sport was recently created to tackle the issue of protecting America’s athletes. Penn State will be represented on the inaugural board by chief ethics and compliance officer Regis Becker.

A Valentine’s Day Trio Of Penn State Love Stories

Penn State To Celebrate 161st Birthday Next Week

Athletics

North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend