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New Paterno Statue Coming To State College

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Penn State removed this Joe Paterno statue in the wake of the child sex scandal of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and Paterno's role in not reporting it, but now an independent group is planning to erect a new statue in State College. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.
Penn State removed this Joe Paterno statue in the wake of the child sex scandal of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and Paterno's role in not reporting it, but now an independent group is planning to erect a new statue in State College. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.

Less than two years after the removal of the iconic Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium, a new sculpture is in the works.

An independent group plans to install a bronze statue of Paterno sitting on a bench and reading a copy of the Latin epic poem "Aeneid." It will appear outside the Tavern Restaurant in November 2015, returning his likeness to State College in what is sure to be a controversial move.

“There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium,” Ted Sebastianelli said, according to Onward State. “We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town.”

Sebastianelli is one of the project's organizers as well as a past president of the football letterman's club and a Board of Trustees candidate.

The group chose the image based on a well-known photo of Paterno eating ice cream on a bench alone and also considered adding his widow, Sue Paterno, to the sculpture, but she wasn't interested, Onward State reported.

The Paterno family and the university are not associated with the project.

Organizers plan to foot the $300,000 bill through a Kickstarter campaign that will launch in July.

"There’s a culture of people in State College that clearly appreciates what Joe has done,” Sebastianelli said. “Our alumni always want to know how we will honor him. This is something we can do for State College while getting Penn Staters from around the country involved. This has nothing to do with university. We are doing this on our own.”