Anyone crossing the John F. Kennedy Causeway in the past month may have noticed the bust of the 35th U.S. president isn’t sitting on its pedestal in the median.
The marble sculpture has been there for almost two decades, greeting eastbound drivers as they arrive on Treasure Island in North Bay Village.
Rest assured the bust is in good hands. It’s being restored by its sculptor, Miami-based Jose Ricardo Pinto.
“I’d like to return it to the village in time for Christmas,” Pinto said in an interview Saturday. The artist has worked on restoring the marble bust for several weeks now, and he aims to give it back this week.
A dedication will likely be planned in January, said Frank Rollason, village manager. He said the bust’s pedestal has already been redone.
“The pedestal has already been prepared with a new travertine marble surface and the plaque reinstalled,” Rollason said.
Pinto is donating his time to restore the bust, and he’s also creating a mold so that in the future, the city can have it made in bronze.
“We hope to get a campaign going to raise money for a bronze sculpture,” Pinto said.
North Bay Village is paying $5,000 for the materials. Pinto and the village want to invite members of the Kennedy family to a future dedication ceremony.
Pinto also sculpted a bust of longtime Mayor Henry Milander for the city of Hialeah.