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PHOTOS: Rhode Island's Independent Man

The Independent Man is one of the main symbols for the state of Rhode Island. Back in 1895, it was first proposed to be a statue of Roger Williams at the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Historical Society. In 1899, for a mere $3,000, George T Brewster designed the gold statue and named it "Hope".

The gold-covered bronze statue weighs more than 500 pounds and stands 11 feet tall. The purpose is to represent freedom and independence and alludes to the independent spirit that led Roger Williams to settle and establish the Providence Plantations, which later became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

According to government records, the Independent Man has been struck by lightning at least 27 times. Drone footage noticed structural damage to the marble base, and Governor Dan McKee decided to remove the statue temporarily so it could undergo much-needed repair and restoration. For only the second time in the state's history and the first time in nearly 50 years (1975) the Independent Man statute was removed from the dome of the State House. It was made available to view up close within the capital building.

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