Angel Moroni will be leaving his perch atop the iconic Salt Lake Temple, being gingerly brought down by a giant crane on the south side of Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City.
The statue’s move is necessary, Daniel Woodruff, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a news release, after a March 18 earthquake knocked the trumpet out of the gold-encrusted angel’s hand.
The shaking also dislodged several stones on the sacred building’s spires, which will be removed for preservation, the spokesman said, along with “additional stones from the east and west sides of the temple.”
The temple, considered a “House of the Lord” by believers in the 16.3 million-member faith, will see its spires surrounded by scaffolding, which will offer workers better access.
Renovation already was underway on the temple — including plans for an earthquake retrofit — and its surrounding square before the temblor hit.
This phase is expected to last a couple of weeks, Woodruff said, while the square’s major overhaul will take four years.
The plan is to strengthen the 126-year-old structure, replace several adjoining buildings and give a face-lift to the nearby plaza and Temple Square, one of Utah’s most visited attractions.