Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 29, 2013

Bust of Sen. Cooper is ‘rescued’ by attorney

Richard Hay’s find headed to new home

Somerset —

You never know what — or who — you’ll find hanging around in antique stores.
Like a United States Senator from Somerset, for instance.
That’s what local attorney Richard Hay found by random chance in a Lincoln County business recently, and soon the bust of Sen. John Sherman Cooper will be moving on up in the world, all the way to the halls of the Pulaski County Court of Justice.
Hay said that he was antiquing as he frequently does in Stanford last month when he stumbled upon Cooper’s likeness in the window of the shop he came upon.
“I just saw it there,” he said.
It was the spitting image of Cooper’s bust from the Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort, installed there in 1987, and created around the same time as the statue of Cooper which recently returned to its rightful place on the redesigned Fountain Square in Somerset.
Hay serves on the Pulaski County Bar Association’s Arts Committee, which just last year commissioned a bust of Count Casimir Pulaski, the Revolutionary War hero for whom the county is named, to be placed in the Pulaski Court of Justice facility.
In the Cooper bust, he saw an opportunity for another local icon’s image to grace the new judicial center’s corridors.
“I just thought, ‘What a great addition to the courthouse!’” said Hay.
As such, Hay plans to fix up the bust and donate it to be placed in the judicial center, hopefully within the next six weeks.
Currently, however, the sculpture rests as Hay found it in his law office on West Columbia Street. 
Of course, this version of the bust isn’t actually bronze, even though it may look that way — it’s plaster. The final plaster cast used to shape the actual Frankfort bust in fact, according to Hay. 

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