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Workers will remove Angel Moroni statue, damaged stones from Salt Lake Temple for renovation work

SHARE Workers will remove Angel Moroni statue, damaged stones from Salt Lake Temple for renovation work

Crews work to construct a crane on Temple Square that will be used to remove the Angel Moroni and damaged temple spire stones in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2020. The stones were damaged in last month’s earthquake.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Workers at Temple Square are installing a mobile crane on Thursday that will allow them to temporarily remove the Angel Moroni statue from atop the Salt Lake Temple in the coming weeks, said a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Workers at the Salt Lake Temple project site are installing a crane on the temple’s south side to begin removal of some of the stones on the temple spires that were displaced during the recent earthquake in Salt Lake City,” Daniel Woodruff said.

“Workers will then remove additional stones from the east and west sides of the temple for preservation during the project. They will also temporarily remove the angel Moroni statue. Scaffolding will be constructed around the temple spires for better access for workers. This work is expected to last several weeks.”

The iconic Angel Moroni statue lost its trumpet in the 5.7 magnitude earthquake on March 18 that struck west of Salt Lake City near the city of Magna. No one was injured when the trumpet fell off and several smaller spire stones were displaced.

“This event emphasizes why this project is so necessary to preserve this historic building and create a safer environment for all our patrons and visitors,” Woodruff said at the time.

The Salt Lake Temple and surrounding buildings are in the middle of a major, four-year renovation. In January the temple was decommissioned and crews demolished the south wall of Temple Square and visitors center.

The renovation always required the removal of the Angel Moroni and the stones for preservation during work that will include the placement of hundreds of seismic shock absorbers under the temple to protect it from future earthquakes.

Continued work on the temple renovation construction project is allowed under Salt Lake County’s stay-at-home public health order as long as workers maintain 6 feet of social distancing, Nicholas Rupp, a Salt Lake County Health Department public information officer, told the Deseret News.

The order requires companies like Jacobsen Construction, the general contractor on the temple project, to send home employees with a fever or cough or shortness of breath.

“Our crews are instructed to work in groups of 10 or less, are practicing social distancing, holding web-based meetings and keeping their hands washed and sanitized and complying with all other CDC guidelines,” Amy Christensen, Jacobsen’s executive vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement provided by email.

She said Jacobsen sends home workers who are sick or show any signs of coronavirus symptoms.

Regular updates about the temple renovation’s progress can be found at TempleSquare.org.