Missing Statue Found and Transported to Carcross With Help from Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

    Yukoner Maryanne  Ratz says her husband recently discovered an old Statue of Virgin Mary while out on an expedition in Old Crow that was missing for nearly 40 years.

    Yukoner Maryanne  Ratz says her husband recently discovered an old Statue of Virgin Mary while out on an expedition in Old Crow that was missing for nearly 40 years.

    Ratz says the statue was found in the most unlikely of places.

    "He was just wandering around and looking into one of the old buildings, an old church. He couldn't open the door but there were no windows so he actually took a picture (inside) and sent it to me. The statue was inside of this old building, and when he texted back to me the picture I said that she can't stay here. We have to take her back to the old Carcross Church." 

    Ratz says after arrangements were made with Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Danya Tizya-Tram, she and her husband decided the statue would best fit in an upright location where it would be showcased in a community again.

    "Father Mouchet, the person who looked after the church in Old Crow, then proceeded to look after the church in Carcross. So when Ron went to talk to the chief to ask him about it, he didn't even know where it had been for 35 years. The building where the statue was  located was going to be torn down anyways, so we proceeded from there (to relocate it)."

    After the 400-pound parts were flown on an Air North flight to Whitehorse and transported to Carcross, Ratz says the statue will now be painted in her house while a grotto is constructed by the church to fit the statue into.

    "(The grotto) is kind of like an oval cave around the outside of the statue. People will be able to go up to see her or pray to her. So far we have big flat sheets of cement and big stones. She'll sit on one of the big stones. In the next week or so we're going to build the stones around where she'll be sitting inside." 

    Ratz hopes the statue will be rejuvenated and be put up around the church by the end of the month.

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