Vandrei said Gauthier also came to DEC headquarters in Albany, where a special viewing of the Rodin bust was set up for him while it was being restored.
“There was a great deal of excitement when the bust was taken out of its box,” Vandrei said.
On Thursday morning, Vandrei pulled up at the lighthouse in his DEC vehicle with the bust in a custom crate in the back. It was put back in place by conservator Jonathan Taggart after crews installed security systems to protect it.
The bolts that affix the plaque were set in commercial epoxy so they can’t be removed, and an alarm relay and surveillance camera will be connected to DEC Region 5 dispatch in Ray Brook for 24-hour monitoring.
“There was no security before,” Vandrei said. “We knew that had to change if it was going to be replaced at the memorial.”
DEC had also discussed keeping the bust at the state museum or another secure location, but Vandrei said it was finally decided that since it was a gift for the people of the Champlain Valley, it should be returned to Crown Point.
“This bust has historical significance and uniqueness,” Chevalier said. “Claudel’s face is haunting. To have her looking out over the lake like this is fantastic.”
The lighthouse is located in one corner of the DEC’s Crown Point Reservation Campground.
“This is probably the only campground in the United States with its own Rodin,” Vandrei said.
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