Michael watching over Piran again after lift by army helicopter
Piran, 15 October - The statue of Archangel Michael, a major landmark of the coastal town of Piran, was lifted back to the church steeple by a helicopter of the Slovenian Armed Forces on Monday.
The sheet copper statue, which has been watching over the town and showing the wind direction for 250 years, returned to the top of St. George's Parish Church after undergoing renovation.
The statue was taken down for the first time in 100 years in August after a part of one of its wings fell down in February, ending up in Piran's Tartini Square.
The Piran municipality helped fund the EUR 25,000-worth restoration, while the units of the Armed Forces trained for mountain rescue provided free-of-charge lifts for the angel in both directions.
"You get sweaty merely from watching this, worrying something may go wrong," Defence Minister Karl Erjavec said after the successful operation.
"The members of our forces are extremely well trained. This was not a simple operation," Erjavec added, noting that the army was putting in a lot of effort to help communities in Slovenia.
The parish priest Zorko Bajc was also grateful and excited. He had described the statue as a "strong symbol that truly connects the people of Piran", who "felt a great emptiness over the town" in the past two months.