coronavirus illinois

Iconic Chicago Art Institute Lions, Picasso Statue Receive Masked Makeovers

The Chicago Art Institute's lions and Daley Center's Picasso statue donned new accessories as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order that requires Illinois residents to wear protective face coverings in public takes effect Friday.

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A day before Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s state-wide order requiring Illinois residents to wear protective face masks goes into effect, several Chicago icons got a head start.

On Thursday, crews installed custom Chicago flag-themed masks on both the Art Institute’s lions as well as the Daley Center Picasso statue.

The Art Institute of Chicago’s public affairs executive director Katie Murphy said the mayor’s office approached them with the ask, hoping the masks seen in their high-profile, Michigan Avenue location will inspire people to comply with the new Illinois requirement.

“We’re trying to encourage people to make masks and donate them and we think it would be great if some landmarks in Chicago also wore masks to sort of spread awareness and show a sense of unity that we’re all in this together,” Murphy said.

The set of lions that guard the entrance to the Art Institute are no strangers to custom accessories. However, Thursday marked the first time the bronze statues were dressed up for a non-holiday or to celebrate a Chicago team’s championship victory.

Starting Friday, all Illinois residents will be required to wear protective face coverings or a mask when in a public place where they can't maintain a six-foot distance in an effort to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Face coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of 2 who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

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