Two of the most famous figures in Green Bay Packers history have returned home to Lambeau Field, and this time it's for good.
Officially to be unveiled Wednesday, August 27, bronze statues of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi were installed in the atrium plaza at Lambeau Field, Friday, signifying that the two-year stadium renovation project is nearly complete.
"It's definitely something I've anxiously been waiting for," said Packers president and CEO Bob Harlan. "I had trouble sleeping last night. I was up at 4 a.m. and on the treadmill, just waiting to see these beautiful statues installed. It's just a great feeling to see everything coming together and I know our fans are going to be excited about this new addition to the plaza."
With the glass wall of the atrium as the backdrop, the two statues stand 14-feet tall atop three feet of steps and a 4-foot base. Each figure weighs over 2,000 pounds and are the largest bronze figurative sculptures to date for the husband-wife team of Julie Rotblatt-Amrany and Omri Amrany, owners of Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany in Highland Park, Ill.
"It's a great honor to be involved in a project like this," said Omri Amrany, who is responsible for the Curly Lambeau sculpture. "There are lots of little details, but the most important was, because of the enormous size of the pieces, getting the perspective. We studied the history of the person, the era and what types of clothing and fashion they might have had."
Working simultaneously on both figures, the couple completed the project in just over three months and in the meantime, has learned a lot about the history of the Green Bay Packers.
"I think we captured in both of them, the time, the personality, the pride and mostly the environment of what their era represented, the atmosphere they represented and the spirit they represented," Omri Amrany said.
The Amranys will add the two Packers sculptures to a resume already filled with legendary sports heroes. In 1994, they unveiled their first sports figure, the now famous Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center in Chicago, and have since crafted sculptures of Haray Caray (Wrigley Field) and six Detroit Tiger Hall of Famers (Comerica Park).
The couple is currently working on a piece for the Chicago Bears to be displayed outside the renovated Soldier Field and a Magic Johnson sculpture for Michigan State.
But despite the impressive resume, watching three-months worth of work being hoisted high in the air is never an easy task.
"It's a combination of both nerves and excitement seeing these go in," said Julie Rotblatt-Amrany, who sculpted the Vince Lombardi statue. "Until a piece gets on the pedestal, you can't totally rest because your job isn't done until it's set into stone, so to speak.
"I can't rest until I know that they're in place. They've been cast, they made it here and now it's a matter of getting them in place and then I'll know that I'm okay."
Fans will get their first glimpse of the two statues Wednesday, August 27, at the unveiling ceremony at the Lambeau Field Atrium plaza, which will be dedicated Robert E. Harlan Plaza, Sept. 2.
Scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m., the unveiling ceremony will include Harlan, Julie Rotblatt-Amrany and Omri Amrany, and members of the Lambeau and Lombardi families.