Despite an incurable illness, sculptor William Van Orden is back at work, once again restoring Venice High School’s famous statue of actress Myrna Loy and two other figures that were damaged by vandals. Van Orden has repaired the statues 12 times over the last decade, replacing arms and heads that were broken off and once even dynamited.
Van Orden had thought he would not be able to repair the statue after the most recent attack by vandals, because he has cancer. Doctors say he may live only another two months.
However, after a recent Times story about the statue and Van Orden, he received nearly $600 in donations. The support persuaded him to repair Loy’s statue one more time.
“I decided I couldn’t abandon her,” he said. “I had to return one more time, this is my life’s work and after I finish this job, I feel I can pass the job on to someone else.”