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Bronze swans return to the Manito Park for the first time in 20 years

The sculpture featured a mated pair of bronze-cast mute swans that will immortalize the community's love for the park.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A pair of bronze mute swan sculptures will grace Manito Park's Mirror Pond for the first time in 20 years.

The sculpture features a mated pair of bronze-cast mute swans that will immortalize the community's love for the park, including its beauty and history with the elegant birds.

According to Spokane City Parks and Recreation, Manito Park's record of providing a home for mute swans goes back to the early 1900s. But, despite efforts to keep the birds safe and healthy, the swans were not native wildlife to the region, and they were gone from the park by 2006.

Visitors at Manito Park will be able to enjoy the Mirror Pond in the company of the bronze mute swans sculpture. The sculpture was fully funded and gifted to the park by Washington Trust Bank, and created by local Spokane artist Vincent De Felice.

"The statue returns the swan's spirit and legacy to Manito Park, and we can't wait to honor the beloved birds in their forever home," Washington Trust Bank President Jack Heath said in a written statement. "It will create memories for generations to come without endangering and introducing animals who aren't indigenous to our area."  

The sculpture's unveiling was presented to the community on Wednesday during an event that included speeches from De Felice on how he created the unique piece of art. Other people in the community, such as Kelly Brown, president of The Friends of Manito, and other nonprofits were present during the unveiling.

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"We're so thankful to Washington Trust Bank for providing this gift of a beautiful, long-lasting sculpture for all to enjoy," Brown said in a written statement. "The sculpture pays tribute to the elegant swans who have graced the pond in the past, and it is a lovely way to honor their history.”