Work began last week on Detroit’s mammoth sculpture of the arm and hand of heavyweight champion Joe Louis.
The 24-foot bronze “Monument to Joe Louis,” more commonly known to many as “The Fist,” is displayed downtown, not far from the arena also named for the famed athlete who moved to Detroit as a boy.
Crews are replacing steel cables, performing minor structural work and cleaning the surface of the 5,000-pound sculpture.
The monument sculpted by Robert Graham was a gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts in the 1980s by Sports Illustrated magazine. DIA conservation director John Cummins Steele says it “symbolizes Detroit toughness.”
Still, Steele says, the cables that suspend the piece need to be replaced every 10 years.