Library lions have bug message covered
They’ve been socially distancing for decades, and now the iconic lions that guard the main branch of the New York Public Library are wearing masks, too.
Workers outfitted the marble lions, named Patience and Fortitude, with Jurassic-sized masks to remind New Yorkers to stay safe and follow expert guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.
“Patience and Fortitude are the perfect symbols for the strengths our city and our nation need now even more,” said New York Public Library President Anthony Marx. “Like them, New Yorkers are strong and resilient and can weather any storm. We will get to the other side of this public health crisis together. But to do so, we must remain vigilant, we must have patience and fortitude, and we must follow what experts tell us, especially as we continue to reopen our cities.”
The lions, who celebrated their 109th birthday in May, sit 90 feet apart, flanking the steps of the majestic library building at Fifth Ave. and 42nd St. They wear wreaths every December, wore Mets and Yankees caps during the 2000 Subway Series, and wore top hats to celebrate the library system’s centennial in 1995.
The 3-by-2-foot blue surgical masks were made with non-eroding material to ensure that they don’t damage the marble.
The lion-hearted gesture comes as 22 library branches across the five boroughs prepare to reopen July 13 for grab-and-go service.
New York Public Library lions Patience and Fortitude remind New Yorkers to stay safe as libraries prepare to reopen.