DETROIT -- Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch today unveiled an extraordinary statue of Gordie Howe on the Joe Louis Arena concourse. The recently completed statue was announced at the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Gordie Howe Entrance last fall.
"Gordie Howe set a standard of greatness with his play that I've always tried to uphold as the owner of this storied franchise," Mike Ilitch said. "Gordie was the greatest player of his era and his grittiness on the ice embodied the hard-working spirit of Detroiters. I felt it was important to honor all that he has meant to this franchise and the city of Detroit."
Composed of white bronze with integrated glass chips to simulate the surface of the ice, the impressive statue stands 6-foot-4 inches from the base to the top of Howe's head and measures over 12 feet long. The statue weighs approximately 1,500 pounds and the base an additional 3,000 pounds. The sides of the base are constructed from high polished black granite etched with details of Howe's hockey history. The top of the base is white sand-blasted granite to simulate an ice surface.
Artist Omri Amrany was commissioned by the Red Wings to create the striking image of Howe. Amrany also created the six stainless steel Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame Players statues at Comerica Park in 2000.
Self-taught Amrany studied traditional techniques of stone carving in Italy and worked in Israel before moving to the United States. In 1991, Amrany and his wife, Julie, opened the Rotblatt-Amrany Fine Art Studio in Highland Park, Illinois, where they teach and work today.
Amrany has commissioned statues across the U.S. including statues of Magic Johnson at Michigan State University and Michael Jordan outside the United Center in Chicago. To learn more about Amrany's works visit AmranyRotblatt.com