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Naperville artist restoring damaged horse statue

October 23, 2014

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Naperville artist is working overtime restoring a painted statue honoring fallen Chicago police officers.

Diana Leviton Gondek is among several artists who put together the “Horses of Honor.” Each of the 60 life-sized horse statues installed in downtown Chicago recognizes an officer killed or disabled during duty since 1853.

The 54-year-old Leviton Gondek was stunned to learn last week that her horse on Michigan Avenue outside the Wrigley Building had been vandalized. Its supports were loosened and sightseers posing for a photo unwittingly sent it crashing to the ground.

The manufacturer repaired it and it returned to Leviton Gondek’s studio for repainting.

Leviton Gondek’s horse honors officer Myles Smetana, who died in 1999 at 46.

She says Smetana’s family has inspired her.

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Online: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation: http://www.cpdmemorial.org/p-o-myles-smetana/

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