Picks and Pans Review: Restoring the Statue of Liberty

updated 06/30/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/30/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Richard Seth Hayden and Thierry W. Despont

Hayden and Despont, both architects, were leaders in the French-American effort to remedy the deterioration the statue has suffered in its 100-year life. Their chatty account of that restoration, which began in 1982, dwells on engineering details. But there are also satisfying digressions into the human interest subplots of the project. The French team that had first diagnosed Liberty's manifold problems, for instance, liked lengthy, formal meetings, which annoyed their more casual American colleagues. Hayden and Despont cite a letter from a child who asked to have a piece of the statue "no bigger than a desk." He wanted to use it, he said, for a class experiment: "We will drop it into the Hudson River to see if it turns green, although I don't know how we will get it back." (McGraw-Hill, $39.95, paper, $14.95)

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