Work by LDS sculptor is placed in cathedral

A marble sculpture - "Madonna and Child" - by noted LDS sculptor Avard T. Fairbanks, was officially dedicated at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City on Dec. 23.

The sculpture, carved in 1958, was donated for display in the cathedral by Grant R. Fairbanks, a son of the well-known artist. The sculpture was created in Italy. The artist, who died in 1987, had done many prominent pieces of art including "Tragedy at Winter Quarters," a monument depicting a young pioneer LDS couple standing over the frozen prairie grave of their infant child, and statues of the Angel Moroni atop the Washington, D.C.; Jordan River; Seattle; and Sao Paulo temples.The Right Rev. Monsignor Francis M. Mannion presided over the dedicatory services in the Cathedral's Magdalan Room where the "Madonna and Child" has been since shortly after renovation of the cathedral was completed.

"It is with great honor and with humility that I participate with the Rev. Francis Mannion in the official dedication of the Madonna," Brother Fairbanks said during the ceremony. "It is my firm belief that this is where my father wants it to be. This work requires no written explanation. It is our hope and desire that the Madonna will continue to inspire people with the message of Christianity for ages to come, and I dedicate this gift to that end."

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